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Monday, Sep 8, 2014

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Debarking: Address underlying issues first

The Straits Times | Monday, Sep 8, 2014

The online article ("Dog debarking controversy: 5 things about the procedure"; Aug 29) stated that "advocates say debarking a dog may save its life".

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals strongly advises dog owners against debarking as a quick fix to stop the barking habit, without first addressing the underlying issues.

We affirm the views of Ms Bai Wanrui ("Promote tolerance instead"), Dr V. Subramaniam ("Debarking shouldn't even be considered"; Forum Online) and Mr V. Balu ("HDB should have consulted animal experts first"; Forum Online) published on Thursday.

Resorting to removing a dog's vocal cords, merely to curb a "nuisance" habit, is not humane. The animal's welfare should be given top priority, with obedience training by a reputable trainer and/or behaviour enrichment being strongly recommended in dealing with a chronic barking problem.

Corinne Fong (Ms)

Executive Director

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Singapore

This article was published on Sept 6 in The Straits Times.

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