New Paper 20090214: Serial Cat Culler Denies Being Cat Murderer

Because of his geographical closeness to the burial grounds of the 45 cats in Seletar (click on it for full chronology), the chairman of club rad himself, Mr Tony Tan Tuan Khoon was featured in the Valentine’s Day edition of the new paper – the only “productive” outcome of this article, as far as I am concerned, is that his face is now in the public domain, along with his “fame”.

Besides wondering out loud again, “Whatever happened to responsible journalism?”, I shall go no further than pointing out the fallacies of his arguments are more than aptly quashed by Dawn. Yes, the 45 cats are probably not murdered by Mr Tony Tan Tuan Khoon, and he may very well have never personally taken the life of one before. But the fact that he actively, no, AVIDLY traps cats for AVA’s considerate and FREE pickup (more: cat trap loan form and details in pdf format) and culling does push him into the stereotypical definition of a cat murderer, no? Mr Tony Tan Tuan Khoon claims to have stopped counting after he hit the magical number of 300… more than 300 lives ended because of a man’s warped concept of being HUMANE, enthusiatically abetted by the authorities no less.

Oh, the irony: Serial Cat Culler Denies Being Cat Murderer.

I do find it slightly disturbing that before he retired, Mr Tony Tan Tuan Khoon was a “marketing manager for an engineering company”. I have the conception that the work of engineers and marketeers require extreme heavy utilisation of logic and facts, that they can’t think up stuff in vacuum and assume they’re as firm as concrete – nobody could take them seriously otherwise.

In any case, marvel at the illogic of this serial cat culler extraordinaire, article appended, after you read through Dawn’s well-thought out post. TNRM… it IS the only way to go.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Does this look like a suffering cat to you?

Cat lolling, originally uploaded by dawnkua.

Thank you Chinky for sending this to me. I seriously doubt that putting an animal down is ‘humane’ just because community cats MAY have a shorter life. Also if cats on the street have a tough life, then shouldn’t we be kinder to them instead of killing them?

If one follows this argument to its logical extreme, then if for example there are children who live in slums and have a tough life, ought they to be killed? Certainly they are in all likelihood more inclined to live shorter lives than the rest of us, because of hazards on the street as well. If you follow this warped logic, then charities who help to alleviate their suffering, educate these children, and try and feed and clothe them ought to be closed down. Instead the children should be killed! Does anyone seriously believe that?

Let’s not forget people who are genetically predisposed to a terminal illness. Following this logic again, hey they should be killed! Not only are they very likely to suffer, they are almost certainly going to live shorter lives. If we take this ridiculous argument to its conclusion, then all these people ought to be dispatched with, pronto.

We can’t predict life, nor the quality of life. Are most cats on the streets happy? Yes – unless they are ill-treated, abused or caught to be killed. And many of these cats actually live very long lives – I would argue that very often their lives are cut short precisely because they are caught and killed. If left on their own, they would live out their normal lifespans. It’s not unusual at all now to see community cats that are older, healthy and well taken care of. With concerned community caregivers, many are given vet care and good nutrition. If the people trapping them, or calling up to complain about them would just leave them alone, then they wouldn’t have miserable lives.

Want to be truly humane? Start a TNRM programme.

Click on the blog post title to read the discussion. Below is the article itself.

I’m not the cat killer

The Electric New Paper :

I’m not the cat killer
Animal activists point finger at man who has trapped over 300 cats to be put down
HE ADMITS he’s responsible for the deaths of at least 300 stray cats.
By Teh Jen Lee
14 February 2009

HE ADMITS he’s responsible for the deaths of at least 300 stray cats.

And yes, he lives in the Seletar estate area, where the bodies of some 45 cats were found buried two weeks ago.

But Mr Tan Tuan Khoon said he’s not the cat killer that some netizens have fingered as the prime suspect in the shocking Seletar cat deaths.

Since The New Paper reported the case on 2 Feb, netizens have been busy speculating who could be behind the killings, in forums such as and Singapore Cats.

The comments were often emotional and sometimes vicious. One writer even suggested that Mr Tan should be ‘put to sleep instead’.

Another, ProjectMayhem, wrote: ‘This is not just the work of someone who does this malicious act to seek the pleasure of inflicting pain but rather (it’s) a mass genocide in a bid to control the cat population.’

It may not matter so much that words are being bandied about with no great regard for what they mean.

But perhaps it does matter that the writer refers to a ‘strong feeling’ that Mr Tan is related to the incident and gives Mr Tan’s home address on the forum.

Another writer, Fluffy, said: ‘This man in the street is a killer, a serial killer to creatures smaller and defenceless to him, a bully murderer in our midst.’

Mr Tan, 62, who retired from working as marketing manager for an engineering company 10 years ago, said he had nothing to do with the case of the dead cats.

But he does not hesitate to say that he has been trapping stray cats since the 1990s, using his own cages and those provided by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

He then hands the cats over to AVA to be put down.

‘I stopped counting after I trapped around 300 cats,’ said Mr Tan, who e-mailed The New Paper with his theory that the cats were killed by people who were fed up with problems caused by stray cats.

‘What I do is humane’

Mr Tan insisted that trapping and putting down cats is actually the humane thing to do.

This stems from his observation that stray cats generally have a shorter lifespan because of the hazards they face on the streets.

Mr Tan, who feels that stray cats should not be fed, poses this question: ‘Who is the cruel party – the one who humanely shortens their suffering or the one who feeds them and prolongs their suffering?’

Experts The New Paper spoke to said that stray cats tend to live shorter lives than indoor cats, but their lifespan can vary greatly.

Mr Tan claimed he used to keep cats and dogs when he was younger, but gave it up when he started travelling for work.

He started his trapping campaign because he was fed up with cats who defecated in his garden and driveway.

He also faced problems with cats who had kittens in the space between his roof and ceiling.

‘The plywood ceiling boards gave way because of that. Also there were cats who chased my pet rabbit,’ said Mr Tan, whose two adult children are studying or working abroad.

Mr Tan, who used to be a committee member of the Seletar Hills Estate Residents Association, lives with his wife, who works as a secretary, and his maid.

Mr Tan also believes that HDB flat dwellers should be allowed to keep cats.

Under current rules, cats are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats.

This is because of the high-rise, high-density of flats, which makes residents ‘more prone to disamenities caused by their neighbours’, said an HDB spokesman.

‘In setting the rules on pet ownership, HDB’s principal consideration is to preserve a pleasant living environment and good neighbourly relations. We need to strike a balance between residents who are pet lovers and those who are more sensitive to the disamenities caused by animals,’ the spokesman added.

In spite of this, HDB said it receives an average of about 40 complaints each month on cat-related matters.

Problems include the shedding of hair and defecation by cats in public areas, as well as noises disturbing residents’ sleep.

Mr Tan, however, said: ‘HDB always says that cats wander and cause a nuisance. The root of such complaints is actually irresponsible owners who don’t bother to train their cats.’

Besides changing HDB’s law on keeping cats, Mr Tan wants proper regulations to ensure responsible ownership of cats.

He said: ‘There should be limits on the number of cats that can be kept in one household. We have that for birds like chickens and ducks, why not for cats?’

Ms Sandy Lim, founder of SOS Animals, however, does not agree with Mr Tan’s drastic approach of trapping and putting down cats.

She said: ‘He has a serial culling background. I’ve also heard negative feedback about how he traps cats…

‘So I feel he’s in no position to talk about the welfare of community cats in Singapore.’


One response to “New Paper 20090214: Serial Cat Culler Denies Being Cat Murderer

  1. Pingback: You can’t keep the cats swiped off the streets of Singapore « Tipped Ear Clan