USE OF NON-SURGICAL ONE-DOSE CONTRACEPTIVE TO FERAL ANIMALS TO CONTROL WILDLIFE POPULATIONS
As is well known, the Government policy in relation to the control of feral animals including stray dogs and cats, involve surgical operations to sterilise the animals. Whilst the success rate of such operations are high, no doubt, they cause some level of pain and suffering to the animals. There is also an issue of costs of such operations. I was very intrigued to learn about the progress made in US in relation to the development of non surgical options. Hence, I filed a PQ to draw the Minister’s attention to this development so that NParks, which is an agency under his charge, can keep tabs on the same.
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for National Development in view of the medical advances in the United States on the administration of non-surgical one-dose contraceptive to feral animals to control their populations and which causes less stress to the animals, whether NParks will consider studying these advances with a view of introducing them in Singapore in lieu of the current practice of spaying the animals.
Mr Desmond Lee: The National Parks Board (NParks) adopts a community- and science-based approach to manage the population of feral animals in Singapore. As part of this approach, sterilisation is carried out for certain animals, to keep population numbers under control.
For example, NParks implements the Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage programme, a humane and science-based method to manage the free-roaming dog population through sterilisation. NParks also subsidises part of the sterilisation and microchipping cost for community cats under the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme. These measures have been effective in managing the population of free roaming dogs and cats in Singapore.
As part of its regular reviews, NParks keeps abreast of the advances in population control measures including novel non-surgical contraceptives. NParks will need to consider various critical factors, including the efficacy and safety of these contraceptives, as well as their cost and ease of application, before they can be adopted.