Remarks by MOS Tan Kiat How on AVS' Finalised Licensing Conditions for Pet Boarders and Breeders and Public Consultation for Dog Rehoming and Adoption Guidelines

Oct 8, 2021

We started the pet sector review in August 2019. Since then, the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) has been consulting closely with animal welfare groups, veterinarians, pet boarders and breeders, pet owners and the wider public on the standards of the pet boarding and breeding industry. There was consensus that more needs to be done to raise the standards of pet breeders and boarders, and this was identified as a key priority area for review.

More than 6,000 people have since shared their views, and we would like to thank them for their feedback and suggestions.

In the most recent online public consultation that concluded on 31 July 2021, respondents were highly supportive of AVS’ efforts to review the licensing regime for pet boarders and breeders. More than 80% of the respondents commented that this was a positive step in the right direction to improve animal health and welfare.

Most of the feedback on animal welfare and concerns related to breeding ethics have been addressed in the earlier set of licensing conditions that were developed in consultation with industry stakeholders. For instance, the licensing conditions for breeders prohibit in-breeding, which means that a dog will not be allowed to be bred with its offspring, parent or siblings.

Based on the feedback received from this round of consultation, we will be making further amendments to the licensing conditions such as to ensure post-retirement care for breeding dogs. The breeders can do so by continuing to care for retired breeding dogs either on the farm, or by rehoming them.

The revised licensing conditions announced today will help to raise overall standards in the pet breeding and boarding industry and improve animal health and welfare. AVS will continue to work closely with the breeding and boarding businesses and help them to make the necessary adjustments, before the revised licensing conditions take effect in April 2022 next year.

I am also happy to share that we have made good progress in other areas of the pet sector review.

Since the Rehoming and Adoption Work Group was formed in October last year, the members of the work group including veterinarians, dog trainers and animal welfare groups have held several rounds of discussions and contributed their ideas and solutions to improve the processes for rehoming, adoption and rehabilitation of dogs. Before we finalise the community-based guidelines, I would like to encourage pet owners and members of the public to share your views and feedback with us via the month-long public consultation, starting from tomorrow. With the rise in pet ownership in Singapore, your views will be very important in shaping and improving the rehoming and adoption practices for dogs.

This will help to increase the chances of an adopted animal being integrated successfully into its new home and the wider community. The topics for consultation include considerations in the pre and post adoption processes, and guidelines on the behavioural rehabilitation and training of dogs. You can access the survey at the AVS webpage.

Lastly, I am also happy to share more opportunities for pet enthusiasts to share their experiences with their local community. As part of its outreach and education efforts, AVS is looking to partner with like-minded individuals and communities who wish to come forward and do more in educating the public on animal welfare and responsible pet ownership. We will start by forming localised pet community groups in the East Coast and Bishan areas – where we have existing communities and pet friendly amenities, and we will look to expand this initiative in the future.

Safeguarding animal health and welfare is a shared responsibility. We will continue to work together with all our stakeholders to raise the overall standards in the pet sector. Thank you.