SINGAPORE – The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is investigating a case of cat death in Yishun that occurred this week.
It is also looking into a case where cats were kept in cages in a makeshift outdoor shelter at Mei Ling Street in Queenstown.
The Yishun case was flagged by Facebook user Catherine Tan, who uploaded a photo of the dead cat in a carpark at Block 367, Yishun Ring Road, on Tuesday (Feb 20).
Cat Welfare Society executive director Laura Ann Meranda told The Straits Times that it was highly likely to be roadkill rather than abuse.
The second case was highlighted by cat group Yishun 326 Tabby cat in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
The dead cat was found sprawled at odd angles in a stairwell at Block 147, Yishun Street 11.
AVA told ST that it is investigating the case at Block 147.
Addressing the case at Block 367, AVA said it was in touch with community cat feeders in Yishun on the case.
It was informed that the carcass was cremated by a cat feeder, and there are currently no other leads in the case.
It called for those with information on the case, such as photographic or video evidence, or who are eyewitnesses, to contact AVA at 1800-476-1600.
AVA added that “stray cats do not have good welfare and good living conditions”.
“They are constantly exposed to the elements and face various risks such as starvation, disease and parasitic infestations, animal cruelty and the risk of getting knocked down by vehicles,” it said.
“Stray cats may not be able to fend for themselves in the environment and the risks they face could be fatal. Therefore, stray cats should be rehomed and properly cared for by responsible owners.”
AVA added that it would “appreciate if the public refrain from speculation as not all animal deaths are due to animal cruelty”.
The authority is also investigating a third case at Block 151, Mei Ling Street, in Queenstown.
A passer-by told citizen journalism site Stomp that she saw several cats in small cages at an outdoor shelter at the block.
“They are locked up for 24 hours, it is very pitiful,” she said. “They are cats, not chickens.”
The media has previously reported about cats in cages in Mei Ling Street.
AVA had told Channel NewsAsia in a report in 2016 that the cats were found to be in “satisfactory condition” then.
It is investigating the case again.
Ms Meranda said CWS hopes that the authorities will thoroughly investigate the allegations of breach of the cats’ welfare in Mei Ling Street.
“It appears from the video that the cats are limited with space for movement and kept in the cage,” she said.
“It is unclear why caging is necessary for these cats and whether the cats are caged for a short period of time or many hours in a day or throughout the day.”
She said the matter “must be addressed immediately” if there is a breach in the welfare of the animals.
“The owner should be educated on how the cats can be cared for without the need for caging and how to alleviate their living conditions. CWS has always advocated that owned cats should be given free roam of their homes and be kept safely indoors,” she said.
“We hope that the investigation will be thorough and include follow-up visits to ensure no further breaches occur. Further breaches should be penalised.”
Source: Strait Times