It’s in Chinese, but the key points, while nothing epiphanous to anyone familiar with the situation, are hard to miss. Hopefully, more of the general public read it and become aware of the plight of these LIVES among us.
The main points, with my inference added are:
- More than thirty years of constant culling has not really achieved much in the way of stray animal population control as it does not address the root causes
- TNRM, as a humane stray animal population control method that targets some of the root causes, works if given time, as in 10 to 15 years
- I say some root causes in the above as attitude, education, and support from authority are part of it too, and grassroots (I so hate the political connotations of that), or rather groundlevel voluntary effort can only go so far. In countries like the US and Israel, authorities provide support in stray animal control at the national level and allow time for TNRM to work, unlike Singapore.
- Pet ownership is a life-long responsibility. Pets are not toys, and no one should get a pet on a whim. Pets are life companions, and there must be give and take. Anyone not ready for the commitment of time, money and ability to share, should not get a pet at all.
- Adopt, not buy. If you must buy, buy from an ethical breeder, not a breeding farm.
- The ongoing and increasing incidences of abandonment in Singapore points to an alarming trend and indicates a problem within our society. The SPCA estimates an average of 10,000 animals (cats, dogs, rabbits and hamsters making up the bulk) are abandoned yearly here speaks volumes about Singaporeans’ attitude towards pet animals, possessive psyche (what the neighbour has, I must have or better) and responsibility.
- Abandoned pets ARE PART OF THE STRAY ANIMAL POPULATION. Stray animal management cannot be dealt with unless the impact of abandonment is recognised and managed as well.
- There are Singaporeans trying to be part of the solution, but again, groundlevel volunteer work can only achieve so much on its own. There are very real resource limits – financial, manpower and space constraints – to how much volunteers can do in terms of rescuing and caring for injured or diseased and former pets abandoned for whatever excuses.
- Singaporeans must learn to be responsible pet owners and to appreciate that Singapore is not just made up of people, concrete jungles, status symbols, statistics and economic indicators.