Written reply by Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on Enforcement Against Cat Feeders on 2 October 2017

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Question by Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources for the past three years, how effective has enforcement been in ensuring cat feeders abide with the two-hour rule of disposing any leftover cat food in public spaces.

Answer:

1.      The National Environment Agency (NEA) oversees the cleanliness of public spaces in Singapore. Food left behind from the feeding of stray animals may attract pests such as cockroaches and rats and endanger public health. Containers with stagnant water also enable mosquitoes to breed.

2.       Members of the public who feed stray animals without clearing the leftover food or food containers may be fined up to $2,000 for the first offence under the Environmental Public Health Act.

3.       Over the past 3 years, the NEA has received about 1,600 cases of feedback on the feeding of stray cats. In most cases, the cat feeders were compliant in clearing any leftover food within 2 hours. NEA had to proceed with enforcement action in only 2 cases where the cat feeders refused to comply with NEA’s instructions to clean up after the feed. 

4.       NEA and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) also request Town Councils to dispose leftover food and litter to safeguard public hygiene and to put up advisories to remind their residents to clean up after feeding. In addition, both NEA and AVA will continue to work with animal welfare groups such as the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) to ensure proper stray animal feeding practices.  AVA is also working with CWS to produce a community engagement handbook which includes information on responsible feeding practices. The handbook will be distributed to community cat carers and volunteers. 

5.       Everyone has a part to play in keeping our public spaces clean. We would like to urge all animal feeders to act responsibly and clear any leftover food or containers after feeding stray animals in our public spaces.

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