Animal lovers (in Singapore) will soon have something to cheer about: in six months, new measures are due to kick in to deter pet abandonment and poor pet welfare.
Each year, some 6,000 dogs and 12,000 cats have to be put to sleep, while about 700 pet owners are fined for keeping unlicensed dogs.
Now, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority says enough is enough.
It plans to extend micro-chipping to all newly licensed dogs, including locally bred ones; this measure is already in place for imported dogs.
With this, the AVA hopes to deter pet abandonment as irresponsible owners can then be traced and enforcement action taken against them.
AVA says micro-chipping is also a safe identification system that can help lost pets be returned instead of being put to sleep unnecessarily.
To prevent indiscriminate breeding, other measures being considered include increasing the annual license fee for unsterilised male dogs from S$14 to S$70.
AVA is also reviewing the penalty for keeping unlicensed dogs, to make it a more effective deterrent against owners who fail to register their dogs.
AVA will be seeking feedback from various groups from pet owners to veterinarians to ensure smooth implementation of these measures within the next six months.