Oral Answer by Ministry of National Development on number of pet animal abandonment cases that have been investigated for each year over the past five years
Mar 1, 2022
Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) for each year over the past five years, how many pet animal abandonment cases have been investigated; (b) how many fines and jail terms have been issued; (c) what proportion of these animals are cats; and (d) whether the Ministry will review and strengthen frameworks for investigations into and sentencing for such cases.
1 NParks investigated 180 alleged cases of pet abandonment in 2017, 225 cases in 2018, 230 cases in 2019, 215 cases in 2020, and 225 cases in 2021. Of these cases, 11 persons were issued composition fines, 21 persons were sentenced in court and fined, and one was given a jail term. About half the cases investigated, and half the cases for which further action was taken, involved cats.
2 We take a serious view of pet abandonment, and all acts involving failure in the duty of care for pets. NParks investigates all feedback on alleged pet abandonment and will take enforcement action as appropriate. Individuals who are found guilty of pet abandonment can be charged under the Animals and Birds Act. First-time offenders can face a maximum fine of $10,000, or a jail term of up to 12 months, or both. We will continue to review the penalties under the Act to ensure that they remain effective in deterring acts of pet abandonment.