Pets & Animals

Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Owners)

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has issued the Code of Animal Welfare for the pet owners on 15 Jun 2017. It comprises

  • Minimum Standards on animal housing, management and care, which all pet owners are expected to comply with.

See Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Owners) for more information.


Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Industry)

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has issued the Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Industry) on 11 Aug 2016. It comprises:

  • Minimum Standards on animal housing, management and care, which pet businesses are expected to comply with; and
  • Best Practices on animal housing, management and care, which pet businesses are encouraged to adopt to further raise the standard of animal welfare in Singapore. 

See Code of Animal Welfare (for the Pet Industry) for more information.

Animal Welfare Cases

From 2011 to 2015, the number of animal cruelty and welfare feedback received by AVA rose from 410 to 840. However, the increase in the number of feedback is likely due to greater awareness of animal welfare, rather than increased incidences of cruelty. After investigation, the majority of the alleged animal cruelty feedback received were found to be non-welfare/cruelty-related and pertain mostly to nuisance (e.g. noise, smell, hygiene) and neighborly disputes. 


Investigations into animal cruelty and welfare cases are challenging. AVA faces these challenges while investigating into animal welfare and cruelty cases:

  • Lack of eye witnesses and direct evidence (e.g. relevant CCTV footages)
  • Carcasses disposed off or in bad condition before the case was reported to AVA. this renders post mortem analysis impossible
  • Cases not reported to AVA for follow-up or the reports are delayed, which may impede investigations

Animal Welfare: A Shared Responsibility

To prosecute any offender, AVA needs direct verifiable evidence (e.g. photographs, video etc.) and witnesses who are willing to testify in court. Therefore, we need the support of both the public as well as the animal welfare groups to help us in bringing animal abusers to justice and raising awareness on animal welfare issues. We encourage the public to report to AVA when they come across suspected acts of animal abuse. 

Important details to provide if you witness animal cruelty:
  • The address/location of the incident
  • The date and time of the incident
  • The details of the suspect, such as:
    • suspect's vehicle number
    • residential address
  • If the suspect cannot be identified, try to take a photo or make a note of the suspect's appearance.               
  • The identity and contact details of all witnesses
    • witnesses to provide detailed statements and be willing to testify should the case go to court
  • Photo or video evidence of the act
Physical evidence to provide
  • Animal on which the alleged act of cruelty was committed. If the animal is dead, do not dispose or bury the animal. AVA needs the carcass to conduct post-mortem to determine the cause of death. 
  • If the animal was treated by a veterinarian, AVA would need:
    • full veterinary report
    • injuries and treatments required
  • A post-mortem report if the animal died
    • vet who performed the post-mortem has to be prepared to testify in court about the findings
  • Any physical objects found at the scene which may be related to the case 

Investigation Process

Investigations into animal cruelty cases can take time. AVA needs to gather these details:

  • relevant evidence
  • interview and take statements from the suspect and witnesses
  • obtain vet reports and post-mortem results
  • information from other government agencies

While AVA is committed to seeing action against the animal abuser, not all cases can have such an outcome. This is due to lack of evidence or witnesses who are unwilling to testify in court.

Promotion of Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO)

Beyond enforcement and imposition of more stringent regulations to punish wrongdoers, there is also a need to instil responsible and appropriate behaviour to those who play a part in an animal's life cycle.

These groups of people include:

  • pet owners
  • potential pet owner
  • pet industry
  • animal welfare groups
  • grassroots
  • general public.

AVA conducts public education at schools, public places and Animal Management Centre, to promote RPO. AVA also conducts an annual RPO roadshow where animal welfare groups take part. RPO programmes equip existing and potential pet owners with the knowledge on the care and responsibility needed with owning a pet.

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