Photo credit: SPCA SINGAPORE

Increase in number of animal cruelty and welfare cases in 2022: SPCA

There was also an increase in the number of youths involved in animal cruelty cases.

Farhana Subuhan

A punctuation enthusiast who thinks misplaced apostrophes are a crime.

Published: 28 April 2023, 5:11 PM

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) reported a 44 per cent increase in the number of animal cruelty and welfare cases it received in 2022.

A total of 511 cases were reported to the SPCA last year, according to statistics published on its Facebook page on Thursday (Apr 27). This is an increase from the 354 cases in 2021, and is the highest recorded figure in the last three years.

There was also an increase in the number of youths involved in animal cruelty cases in the same year.

SPCA explained that the cases it receives are typically classified into two broad categories: Abuse and Cruelty, as well as Welfare and Neglect.

Intentional harm and infliction of pain, suffering or death of an animal amounts to Abuse and Cruelty whereas failure to provide basic needs or causing the suffering of an animal is classified under Welfare and Neglect. The latter made up 62.8 per cent of all cases.

More than two thirds of the total number of cases SPCA received in 2022 were also related to dissatisfactory living conditions.

There were also a total of 96 cases of animals that were abandoned last year. Four out of 10 animals that were abandoned were small animals — hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits — that SPCA said have “little to no choice of survival” on their own.

In just the first three months of 2023 alone, SPCA received 81 cases pertaining to animal abandonment, and attended to 229 cruelty and welfare cases.

On its website, SPCA revealed that it receives an average of up to 80 to 90 reports of alleged cruelty every month. Serious cases that warrant further action are then referred to the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) or the police.

AVS shared that the amount of feedback it received relating to animal cruelty and welfare rose from 2,490 to 3,025 cases from 2018 to 2021. However, it attributed the increase to the “public’s greater awareness of animal welfare rather than increased incidents of cruelty.”

Under the Animals and Birds (Amendment) Act 2014, anyone who is found guilty of cruelty to animals, including the abandonment of any animal can be imprisoned for up to 18 months, fined up to $15,000, or both.

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