The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) in Singapore has criticised Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah and her fellow parliamentarians for mocking community caregivers and the cats that they care for in Parliament this week.
In Parliament, Lee Bee Wah lamented the presence of “big, big rats” running and “dancing about” in her ward and blamed the cat-feeders in the community for giving rise to such pests as they ate the food set out for the cats.
Lee said that she had mobilized the town council, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) to form a “Rats Task Force” but the task force could not eliminate the root cause of the issue.
She said: “I asked NEA to act. They said, ‘cannot. There was a agreement by NEA and Cats Society [sic] to leave food there for two hours.’ So…how to solve the rat issue?”
Asserting that it advocates for responsible feeding and the removal of food after two hours and that it works with the NEA to penalise irresponsible caregivers, CWS said:
“Community caregivers and the cats that they care for do not deserve to be mocked or laughed at. Neither do they deserve to be threatened by the possibility of the extermination of cats that we share our community with.
“The responsible caregivers feed our community cats on a daily basis and provide them with medical care when the need arises. They do this in their own time and out of their own funds. This is because, like us, they believe that these cats should enjoy a safe living environment and be treated with dignity.
“We advocate for responsible caregiving where food is cleared within 2 hours from being placed on the ground and water bowls are changed daily.
“We also advocate against irresponsible caregiving where food is not cleared and our mediators do work with NEA to find and penalise the irresponsible caregivers. This is to ensure that the root causes of the problem is identified and addressed without compromising on the welfare of our community animals.
“CWS will continue working with all the town councils, NEA and AVA in ensuring that responsible caregiving is consistently provided to the cats.
“We have always spoken proudly about Singapore being a humane society. One that is mature in thought and action as evidenced by the fact that it has adopted sterilisation over culling which has been proven to be ineffective.
“Laughter in response to a safe environment that we have fought for decades for our community animals is not the compassionate society that we believe in and we hope that the welfare of our community animals will not be compromised.”
Read CWS’ statement in full HERE.