AVA to review regulations for pet boarding businesses

Likely in reference to the Platinium Dogs Saga.

Matthias Ang | February 13, 2019, 03:55 PM

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will be undertaking a review of regulations for the pet industry, including that of pet boarding businesses.

This was shared by Ministry of National Development's Senior Parliamentary Secretary Sun Xueling in Parliament on Feb. 13.

It was in response to a question posed by MP Louis Ng who asked MND whether a licensing requirement for pet boarding businesses would be introduced, on top of the standards and best practices already listed in the Code of Animal Welfare (Pet Industry).

AVA can take enforcement action

Sun said that beyond the Code of Animal Welfare, AVA was authorised to take enforcement against pet boarding businesses that fail to care for animals or engage in animal cruelty.

Such offences fall under the Animals and Bird Act of the Penal Code.

She highlighted that all pet business operators, including pet boarders, have a duty to care for the animals they handle.

AVA to reach out for review

As part of AVA's review of regulations for the pet industry, it would be reaching out to stakeholders, such as pet owners, industry players and Animal Welfare Groups, to find a balance across multiple needs and interests, according to Sun.

Presently, AVA is the organisation that licenses pet shops and pet farms, some of which have commercial pet boarding facilities.

Question likely to have been asked due to recent Platinium Dogs Club Saga

Ng's question was likely asked in light of the saga involving pet boarding house, Platinium Dogs Club (PDC), which occurred between Dec. 2018 and Jan. 2019.

Starting in Dec. 2018, multiple allegations were brought against the owner of PDC for severe mistreatment of dogs under its care.

One case showed that the dog died after  allegedly being seriously ill when it was under the care of PDC.

Additionally, according to Yahoo News, at least three dogs had been taken from the house to be cremated as well.

The facility was also not officially registered and operated out of a private residence.

When the facilities were raided by personnel from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and AVA, 18 dogs and a rabbit were rescued, all apparently in less-than-ideal conditions.

One dog known as Prince was unaccounted for during the raid.

Subsequent investigations by AVA revealed that the dog had died during its time at PDC, whereupon it was cremated afterwards, without any notification being given to the owner.

PDC's owner has since been arrested.

Under the Animal & Birds Act, a person who is convicted of failing to care for animals in the course of conducting an animal-related business may be fined up to S$40,000, jailed up to two years, or both.

Top image collage from AVA Facebook and Derrick Tan Facebook