AVA: Balance is important in resolving cat issues

I thank Ms Yvonne Tai Geok Hong for her feedback in the letter, "Fazed by cats and AVA's response" (my paper, July 30).

In the management of stray cats, there is a need to balance the interests of those bothered by stray cats and those of cat lovers.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) loans cat traps to those troubled by stray cats entering their premises. In the case of condominium residents, AVA would advise them to liaise with the condominium's management if they intend to borrow traps from AVA.

The management could advise the residents on the by-laws governing the use of animal traps in common areas and in residences.

Based on public feedback, we have extended our trap-collection services to include weekends. With effect from last Wednesday, members of the public have been able to call the Animal Response Centre on 1800-476-1600 for collection of traps on weekends.

Nonetheless, as some cats in certain premises may be pet or community cats, there are ways to resolve the issue other than deploying a cat trap to remove them. For example, repellent can be used to keep the cats away.

For the benefit of the community, it would be important to find an effective and humane balance in resolving cat-related issues. Towards this end, AVA and animal-welfare groups like the Cat Welfare Society work closely together in the management of strays.

Together with the animal-welfare groups, AVA recently published a booklet, entitled Animals & Our Community (http://petsforlife.com.sg/publications/ Animals-and-Our-Community.pdf), which stresses the importance of creating a harmonious living environment for all.

Dr Wong Hon Mun

Director, Agri establishment regulation

For Chief executive

Agri-food and veterinary authority

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