Singapore may not be a big country, but it is home to many of us and also various animal species. It is estimated that there are about 60,000 stray cats, 7,000 stray dogs and 1,900 wild monkeys in Singapore.
However, in 2015 alone, almost 2,500 animals–942 dogs, 888 cats and 623 monkeys–were euthanised by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA). Monkeys made up the largest stray population in terms of overall percentage (32%) that were put down, followed by dogs (13%) and cats (1.48%).
Our guess for the monkeys is that because they are territorial creatures, they can become a nuisance to residences in urban landscapes. Unlike dogs and cats which can be kept as household pets, keeping a pet monkey is illegal in Singapore. Hence, the higher number of euthanised primates.
Stray animals are often captured and impounded by the AVA due to safety issues raised by the public. AVA will then work together with the various animal welfare associations in Singapore such as SPCA, Cat Welfare Society (CWS), Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) and many more. Their main priority is to help these stray animals find their forever homes. Thanks to their efforts, 265 dogs and 129 cats were rehomed.
According to Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, euthanisation is used as a last resort for the animals that were unable to be rehomed. These include sick and aggressive animals. He also emphasised that the euthanisation was done as humanely as possible.
Mr Wong added that AVA will continue working with the various animal welfare groups to rehome as many stray animals as possible.
On a related note, it seems that most Singaporeans do not want strays to be killed. In a first-of-its-kind survey by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) last year, only 15% of the 600 participants wanted strays to be put down. Hopefully in the near future, there will be more humane alternative solutions that can address both public and animal protection issues.
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