Commercial pet breeders must meet stricter rules, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Commercial pet breeders must meet stricter rules

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Commercial pet breeders will have to meet stricter rules, while pet boarders will have to be licensed, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling yesterday.

The changes stem from public feedback that said standards in these areas must be raised.

"There was general consensus that more needs to be done... to safeguard the health and welfare of the animals," she told Parliament during the debate on her ministry's budget.

The first move the National Parks Board (NParks) will make is to strengthen licensing conditions for existing commercial breeding facilities on farmland.

These changes will focus on areas such as housing and management, healthcare and traceability of the animals.

NParks will also step up enforcement efforts against those who operate such commercial facilities without a licence outside of farmland.

The licensing of commercial pet boarding facilities will hinge on the scale of their operations. This will depend on factors such as the number of animals handled and the frequency of transactions.

Those who board pets for friends and family, or do it infrequently, will not need a licence, Ms Sun said, adding that more details will be given later this year.

At present, pet breeders and boarders who operate outside of farmland do not need a licence.

But a furore erupted when a dog boarded at Platinium Dogs Club went missing last year. Later, it was found to have died.

Another change centres on licences for dogs. Owners of sterilised dogs will have to pay a one-time fee of $35 for a licence lasting the pets' lifetime. It will be implemented in the fourth quarter of this year.

Currently, the licences are for a period of up to three years, with owners of unsterilised dogs paying more.

Said Ms Sun: "We hope this will encourage more owners to sterilise and license their pet dogs."

Owners of sterilised dogs with a three-year licence will automatically have the licence converted to the lifetime option.

NParks, however, will continue to offer one- and two-year licences to dog owners.