National microchip database for dogs to be set up

Minister Shanmugam with a puppy from welfare group Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD). He later decided to foster it. Mr Louis Ng, Executive Director of ACRES looks on.

In a bid to curb the abandonment of pet dogs in Singapore, a national microchip database will soon be set up.

Announced at the Singapore Animal Welfare Symposium and Public Forum on Animal Welfare Polices today, the database will allow the tracking of pet dogs, and facilitate the identification of owners who abandon their animals.

Commending the move as absolutely essential, Nee Soon GRC MP Mr K. Shanmugam, who delivered the keynote speech at the event, said it is testimony that Singapore is progressing in the animal protection movement.

Held at Chong Pang Community Club, the one-day forum saw 500 members of the public and 100 members of animal welfare groups turn up.

The forum served as an opportunity to enhance animal welfare in Singapore. Issues like animal protection legislation, humane domestic animal management, wildlife crime and zoo animal welfare concerns were discussed.

Mr Louis Ng, executive director of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), said the move for a national database comes after receiving feedback from local animal welfare groups from the first forum which was held in June last year.

Many abandoned dogs which were rescued were micro-chipped but the information was not uploaded into any registry. As a result, the owners were not tracked down.

Mr Ricky Yeo, President of Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) said there are currently at least four existing registries including those owned by ASD, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals', Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and Pet-call.

Together with the national microchip database, the AVA will also implement licensing all dogs at the point of sale and during the second vaccination procedure and micro-chipping.

This means that once the pet is sold the license will be transferred from AVA to the owners.

"What we are going to do is nationalise it and make one integrated database, from now on, all of them will be registered in one database rather than different databases," said Mr Ng. "If you abandon, with one database we will track you down", he added. Singapore's current penalty for pet abandonment is up to $10,000, 12 months jail or both.

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