Noah's Residents

Noah's Residents

Sunday, May 31, 2015

An Impactful News Event: Animal Welfare in Singapore

The news event that has impacted me would be "Amendments to animal welfare Bill detailed", a recent news report that was covered by Channel News Asia, and many other news channels. 

As an animal welfare volunteer and caregiver, I have a passion for the welfare of animals. It has always been out of my own compassion and conscience that I have tried to help animals that have crossed paths with me, and to help them without reservation is to lead by example.

I have actively lobbied for changes to be made to the private bill concerning animal welfare legislation through means such as writing my thoughts to the various news forums. It is a first step in the right direction to finally see that the government is increasing the penalties for cases of animal cruelty and neglect. This newly tabled legislation will send a strong signal to pet owners to practice responsible care for their pets and punish offenders with stiffer penalties.

Animals that do not have a home are often the target of animal abusers as these people do not seem to have the ability to tolerate and try to co-exist with these animals. This social issue has made me wonder whether society has lost the ability to love, respect and be open. My argument would be that if the person does not love animals, they do not need to hurt them but to just leave them alone. Through this legislation, I hope that these abusers could be harshly dealt with for harming these innocent and helpless animals. The question being raised by me is that, “If society cannot even respect ,and love these sentient beings, how can we learn to love and accept one another?”

Moreover, the authorities need to work together with the various animal welfare groups to come up with humane methods to decrease the stray population through sterilisation and education outreach to help society understand the concept of tolerating and respecting these animals. These animals do not ask for anything out of the ordinary, they only require the basic needs to survive which is food, water and love. Looking at the number of animal cruelty, and abandonment cases pains me because it is a reflection of society, and of how people are unable to be compassionate to provide for these animals the care that they deserve with sincerity. 

Also, animals are being exploited through unethical breeding such as through puppy mills and for entertainment purposes that their health is being compromised. I have always inform people who want to get a pet to adopt and not to buy from pet shops as many animals in shelters are looking for homes and they make great pets. Most of the animals in pet shops are the subject of breeding and people exploit these animals for the sake of monetary gains by in-breeding which will affect the animals and their off-springs. Recently, the dolphins in Underwater World Singapore have skin cancer and their health is neglected grossly as the organization is too focused on the entertainment factor that they fail to provide for them. The public need to realise that animal welfare is looking at the bigger picture of weighing the consequences of our actions and finding ways to make the lives of these animals better and not to destroy their lives any further.  

Also people need to understand that if we do not help these animals, who will? It is disappointing that society is not open to speak up for animal rights and to actively show others that the welfare of these animals is of great importance. However, these challenges have enabled me to carry on fighting for animal rights and to prove people that they can co-exist with animals.

I am in favor of animal rights, as well as human rights, which is the way of the whole human being. - Abraham Lincoln  

The stark reality is that people need to open their hearts to accept these animals. These steps will lead to a society that has the heart, and mindset for positive changes to be implemented in the area of animal welfare. Mahatma Gandhi once said that you can gauge a country by how well it treats its animals, this quote shows that Singapore still has a long way to go in realizing the importance of animal welfare and positive change that will benefit the animals. 

By Darren Chan

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