Starting 1 January 2010, AVA will be implementing a new set of import and quarantine requirements as part of our rabies risk management approach to the importation of dogs and cats into Singapore.
From 1 July 2009 to 31 December 2009, dogs and cats may be imported into Singapore under the current veterinary conditions as well as the new veterinary conditions under the revised quarantine policy. The current veterinary conditions will cease effect from 1 January 2010.
AVA exercises a range of strategies to safeguard against the introduction and spread of animal diseases in Singapore. A key strategy is the regulation of the importation of animals into Singapore. Licenses have to be applied for pets for the purpose of disease control.
For dogs, this means specifically the prevention of the possible introduction and potential spreading of rabies. Rabies is a fatal viral disease affecting all warm-blooded animals and man. It kills between 35,000 to 50,000 people worldwide each year (World Health Organisation estimates). Bites by rabid dogs are the main cause of rabies in people. Dog licensing will facilitate traceability in the event of a rabies outbreak. Singapore has been free from rabies since 1953.
The new import requirements involve re-categorising countries according to the rabies risk posed by different countries. Updated details are available from AVA.
About 5,500 dogs are imported into Singapore annually. Of these, puppies imported for commercial purpose account for 85-90% while personally-owned pet dogs account for the remaining 10-15%. Some 95% of the commercially imported puppies are from Australia. The AVA estimates that 80% of all dogs sold as pets in Singapore are imported from overseas.
AVA also has regulations on microchipping pets.
With effect from 1 May 2001, overseas exporters and owners must microchip their dogs and puppies before exporting them to Singapore. This applies to both commercial consignments as well as personally owned pets.
Here is an article on compulsory microchipping:
A tighter leash on dog owners
Compulsory microchipping, stiffer fines for unleashed, unlicensed dogs next month
(Today Online 7 Aug 07)
Keep that dog licensed, leashed and muzzled, or be prepared for penalties with ten-fold more bite.
From Sept 1, dog owners may be fined up to $5,000, instead of the current maximum of $500, if they do not license their dogs, put a leash on them or — if its a so-called "dangerous breed" such as pit bull, mastiff, Doberman, German shepherd or Rottweiler — muzzle them in public spaces. Repeat offenders of the muzzle rule could be fined up to $10,000.
The new regulations are being introduced by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to manage the canine population and encourage responsible pet ownership.
While rules such as compulsory microchipping may cheer animal activists, the enhanced penalties and licensing fees have stirred some disgruntlement.
"It's prejudiced against certain breeds and not fair to responsible dog owners who train their dogs well to be obedient, and allow them to socialise," said Mr Rajvinder Singh, a financial planner who has kept Dobermans for 20 years. Dogs not required to be muzzled by law, he pointed out, are just as likely to bite.
"Some smaller dogs, like schnauzers, are aggressive and may bite people if their owners don't control them," he said. "They should just punish irresponsible dog owners."
The steep fine will keep Mr Ronald Rajan, who has a German shepherd, from flouting the muzzle rule. But he sees no need for it. "Has there been any serious attacks here lately?"
While the AVA has not noticed an increase in attacks from such dogs, a spokesperson said: "The maximum fine is to deter owners of such dogs from acting irresponsibly."
All dogs that are licensed from Sept 1 will also have to be implanted with microchips, making it easier to track down their owners if they are lost or abandoned.
This is a move that animal activists have called for to discourage pet dumping. But Action for Singapore Dogs president Ricky Yeo stresses that enforcement is necessary.
"I would say only one-third of the dogs in Singapore are licensed. Even though the rule is that dogs have to be licensed at the point of sale, pet-shop owners don't usually follow that. Conscientious owners do so on their own," Mr Yeo said.
A group licence fee will be introduced for those who keep dogs on registered farms for breeding, boarding and training, and the amount will vary between $650 and $3,500, depending on the number of pets.
Owners who board more than three dogs also have to pay a licence fee of $175 per dog for the fourth and subsequent dogs.
But what of volunteer-run animal rescue groups that either have their own kennels or board them at commercial farms?
Mr Yeo hopes such fees will be waived as "we are doing a public service". In response to queries, the AVA said such groups can write in to appeal for a waiver.
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is the national authority to ensure a resilient supply of safe food, to safeguard the health of animals and plants and facilitate agri-trade for the well-being of the nation. It was established on 1 April 2000.
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
At: 5 Maxwell Road, #02-03, Tower Block, MND Complex, Singapore 069110
Tel: 6227 0670 or 6325 7333
Fax: 6227 6305
Import & Export Division
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority
5 Maxwell Road, #02-03, Tower Block, MND Complex, Singapore 069110
Tel: (65) 6227 0670 or (65) 6325 7333
Fax: (65) 6227 6305
Operating hours :
Mon - Thu : 8.30am - 1.00pm
2.00pm - 6.00pm
Fri :8.30am - 1.00pm
2.00pm - 5.30pm
Sat, Sun and Public Holidays : Closed
*LynspirationsA pet is for life. Be responsible.