Did you know there are legal responsibilities that come hand-in-hand with having a pet? As a responsible pet owner, we must know about the laws in order to protect ourselves and our pets – more than just giving our pets food and water. Every pet owner should be aware of legal responsibilities of owning pets – If you fail to comply with legal requirements such as microchipping and registration, you can be fined. It’s just not worth to break the laws and put our furry companions at risk. Check out these pet-related laws will help you to avoid fines and potential problems with the society.
The Animals and Birds Act specifies some mandatory requirements for care of pets in Singapore. For instance, dog licensing is a must for every dog owner. Under Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules, all dogs must be licensed for rabies control, and failure to do so attracts a fine of up to $5,000. It states the legal pet limits too – no one shall keep more than 3 dogs in any premises (not being a dog farm or a pet shop) without the prior permission of the Director-General.
Keep in mind that owning a restricted breed dog may put yourself and the public at risk. The Part I of Schedule Two has stated the list of restricted breeds, including Pitbull, Tosa and Akita. The owner is allowed to keep only one dog of the breed specified in a premise and the dog shall be implanted with a microchip. Muzzled and leashed in public, spayed, obedience training and liability insurance of $100,000 minimum – all of these are the must-do requirements for owning a restricted breed. Plus, the licensee shall furnish to the Director-General security in the form of a banker’s guarantee for $5,000, which shall be forfeited if he or she fails to comply with any of the restrictions.
For the dog breeds stated in Part II of Schedule Two, such as German Shepherd and Rottweiler, the owner is allowed to keep only one dog of the breed specified in a premise and the dog must be microchipped. The restrictions stated in Part II are similar to Part I, however, only $2,000 is needed for the deposit and neutering is not necessary.
HDB allows 1 dog of an approved small breed per residential unit, according to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) Animals Rules 1989. Failure to comply with this legislation can result in a fine of up to $4,000. Check out the list of dog breeds allowed in HDB! On the other hand, pet owners who lived in private (non-HDB) premises are allowed to keep 3 dogs only. Special permission can be obtained from Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) if you wish to keep more than 3 dogs.
Will there be law ramification if your dog bites someone? Yes. Under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, the dog owner has to pay a penalty of up to $5,000 and also the compensation not exceeding $2,000 to the victim that has suffered the injury – getting a dog leash is always cheaper than paying the fine. If it is proved to the satisfaction of a Magistrate’s Court that your dog is in the habit of running at persons or at bicycles or vehicles passing along a public road, you are liable to pay a fine of up to $1,000 too. Also, dog owners have to pay penalty not exceeding $1,000 if they allow their pets to injure any trees, plants or fences in or at the side of any public road.
While German Shepherds are allowed in Singapore, they are not allowed in HDB flats and are required to be muzzled in public areas. The same applies to any related breed and crosses of the German Shepherd.
Just like German Shepherds, Rottweilers fall under the same category. They are allowed in Singapore but are not allowed in HDB flats and must be muzzled when in public areas.
Singaporeans are only legally allowed to have dogs, cats, small rodents (e.g. guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas), licensed fish, and birds, as well as red-eared terrapins, land hermit crabs, green tree frogs, and Malayan box turtles. Snakes, star tortoises, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and more are illegal to own in Singapore!