Facts about pet ownership in Singapore

Facts about pet ownership in Singapore

Check out some fun facts about pet ownership in Singapore that you probably did not know.

  • How many pets are there in Singapore? More people in Singapore now own dogs, with the number of canine pets increasing from an estimated 47k in 2006 to 62k in 2015.
  • These numbers - of licensed dogs registered with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) - represent a 32 per cent rise in just under a decade.
  • Pet-shop owners say the rising popularity of dogs as pets is largely a result of the growing perception that they are very companionable animals.
  • Singapore's pet population is projected to hit 824k pets in 2016 - up from 816k in 2014, according to statistics from Euromonitor International, a market research firm.
  • According to AVA, the number of vet clinics in Singapore has risen from 53 in 2011 to 75 last year.
  • According to AVA, mixed breeds were the most popular dog breed in Singapore last year, followed by the toy poodle, the shih tzu, the miniature schnauzer and the maltese.
  • Small dogs have always been popular in Singapore as most people live in flats.
  • Cageless pet boarding, dog boarding, pet nanny, dog kennel, dog sitting, cat sitting, pet training school and other pet care services are among the most popular services Singapore pet owners are looking for their pets.

 In above fun facts, the name Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) had been mentioned several times. For those who keep pet in Singapore, they must be familiar with this name. AVA, an agency belongs to Ministry of national development was established in 1 April 2000. Its main functions include ensure a resilient supply of safe food, ensure the health & safeguard the welfare of animals, safeguard the health of plants and facilitate agri-trade. Pet regulations, licensing and everything else related to pet fall under the authority of AVA.image 2017 AVAImage credit: NYP

AVA had published a handful of material about pet ownership in Singapore at their official site, including things that you need to know getting a pet (types of pets are allowed for sales, microchipping, sterilisation, and etc), pet care (veterinary care and training) and pet licensing. Pet licensing especially is the important thing that every pet owner must know. Owning a pet is not without challenges in Singapore. As a pet owner, you must comply with the law or you risked to be punished by legal authorities. Here are some highlights of pet licensing in Singapore:

  • All dogs must be licensed for rabies control and discourage pet abandonment once they are above 3 months
  • All dogs must be leashed in public area.
  • Under the Housing and Development Board (HDB) Animals Rules 1989, HDB only allows 1 dog of an approved small breed per residential unit. You can face a fine of up of to S$4,000 if you fail to comply with this legislation. However, any dog breed listed in Scheduled Dogs (potentially dangerous dog breeds) cannot be kept in a HDB residential unit.
  • For private premise (non-HDB), a maximum of 3 dogs are allowed. You have to obtain special permission from AVA to keep more than 3 dogs. Effective from 15 November 2010, a maximum of 1 scheduled dogs can be licensed and kept per private premise. Same regulation can be applied to licensing of dogs for commercial premise.                                                                                  
  • The license fees for dogs other than in dog farms:  

    -For a dog below 5 months of age: S$15.00 per annum

    -For a sterilised dog: S$15.00 per annum

    -For a non-sterilised dog: S$90 per annum

    -For a fourth or subsequent dog: S$180 per annum                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • The license fees for dogs keep for breeding in dog farms  

    -300 and above dogs on the premises:S$3,500 per annum

    -201 to 300 dogs on the premises: S$1,700 per annum

    -101 to 200 dogs on the premises: S$1,100 per annum

    -100 or fewer dogs on the premises: S$650 per annum                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • The license fees for dogs keep for sale in dog farms or pet shops:                                                                                                                                                                               

    -101 to 200 dogs: S$1,000 per annum

    -51 to 100 dogs: S$500 per annum

    -21 to 50 dogs: S$250 per annum

    -11 to 20 dogs: S$100 per annum

    -10 or fewer dogs: S$50 per annum

For more details, visit AVA official website.

Cat ban in HDB flats

All cats are banned in HDB flat is a longstanding rule. According to the statistics, nearly 82% of Singaporean lived in HDB flats in 2015. And this means only 18% of Singaporean who live in non-HDB flats can keep cat as pet. Cat welfare society (CWS),a non-profit organisation had been long lobbied for the removal of the ban, but they didn’t succeeded.

In 2012, the Singapore government with the help from CWS had launched a cat ownership pilot project called ‘Love cat’ where HDB residents from 123 blocks in Chong Pang are allowed to keep a cat under the two year programme. The period of the programme was later extended to four year. This programme was definitely a success, but it wasn’t continued due to lack of funding.

This issue of cat banning come back into spotlight early in January this year when a Facebook post by a user called Alfredo Seow had gone viral. Seow post an enforcement letter which his friend has received from HDB and this post was immediately inundated with comments expressing disappointment and fury.

This is what letter said:

‘…...We refer to our telephone conversation on 28 December 2016 concerning the subject matter.

We have received feedback that you have kept a cat in your flat. Under the HDB’s policy keeping of cat in HDB flats strictly prohibited. Cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats as they are difficult to be confined within flats. Cat-related nuisance such as shedding of fur, defecation in public areas and noise disturbance can spoil the estate’s living environment good neighbourliness.

We wish to advise you to remove the cat from your unit by 11 Jan 2017, failing which appropriate action may have to be taken by the HDB…...’ Source: Alfredo Seow

If dogs are allowed, why not cat? Many cat lovers hope the cat ban can be removed so that they can enjoy the company of cat in their lives. The cat ban were implemented by HDB since 1960. Will this longstanding rule be finally removed in future? Nobody knows.

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