Saturday, October 19, 2013

Are there protocols for euthanasia requests by pet owners?

16 Oct 2013

Today Voices

While animal welfare groups have stepped up efforts to promote the humane treatment of animals here, the legislative framework seems somewhat ambiguous following the latest incident.

[Hoo boy. Assumptions. Damn Assumptions. Presumptions. Short answer: Animal welfare groups have not done any work in reforming the legislative framework. And what do you mean "ambiguous"? Where is the ambiguity?]

...Given the increasing animal abuse here and the grey areas in our animal welfare legislation, I am concerned about the veterinary protocols concerning euthanasia requests by pet owners.

[Again. What "grey areas"?]

For example, are there conditions where veterinarians may exercise professional prerogative over such decisions? Are there conditions that constitute abuse or negligence on the owner’s part when a healthy pet is sent for euthanasia without exploring alternatives?

[You have neither made a case or proven that a) there are conditions where vets can or should over-ride pet-owners' requests, nor b) that "euthanasia" of pets must be supported by a list of approved reasons, or only as a last resort. And no, this is not jeopardy. You do not need to frame your answer in the form of a question. You just want to redefine abuse to include euthanising a healthy pet? Just say so... but it helps if you explain why and you show you at least appreciate the reality of the situation, even if you seem divorced from reality]

Also, what access rights do owners and rescuers have to an animal’s medical records in the event of a dispute, and what avenues may one seek regarding errant vets?

[The right of privacy of the animal records are covered by the... oh wait! There are no such rights. Nor are these records a matter of public interests or public information. If a vet writes up his observation, it is HIS (or HER) observation. There are NO rules governing medical records of pets. Where did this "errant vet" come from? Define "errant"?]

Animal abuse should not be limited to signs of physical injury. Legally, it should also encompass mental harm and any malicious intent that contributes to the unnecessary suffering or death of an animal.

[So how was the owner of the puppy "malicious"? You are not legally trained are you? Tossing in "intent" is just going to make prosecution harder. Which brings us to the next question: who is going to investigate and prosecute such cases? Who will pay for the legal proceedings? Do we want to tie up our courts with such proceedings?]

Perhaps another legislative review is in order to address all of the above and to move Singapore closer to being an animal-centric and inclusive society.

Tan Pei Ying

[I will assume you mean "animal-centric" and "animal-inclusive" society. 


Those are big dreams. 

Stupid dreams. But Big. 

Big, Stupid Dreams. 

"Animal-centric" huh? So Animals will be the centre of Singapore society? How does that even start? Do you mean ALL animals, or just the ones you like. You know, like dogs.

I'm not sure, but the neighbourhood garbage centre at my place is quite animal-centric. Rats, Crows, Pigeons, and even Cats and Dogs gather there. The hawker centre nearby is also Animal-centric. Crows, Mynahs and Pigeons scavenge food off the tables. The hawker patrons are quite Animal-centric. They leave scraps of food on the table for the animals to pick, instead of clearing their plates to the tray return point.

There are some Cat lovers around my place. The responsible ones will feed the stray cats and then clear up the uneaten food. But the animal-centric ones will just leave the uneaten food for rats, and other animals. I used to think they were just irresponsible. But now I see that they are actually animal-centric. 

Comment: There are different types of animal lovers. But the true animal lovers are respecters of animals. They allow animals to be exactly what they are. In other words, they won't keep animals. They consider it a cruelty at worst and an indignity at best to the animal.

The so-called "animal lovers" who keep pets, give them names, domesticate them, dress them up in ridiculous clothes they think are cute, and otherwise tries to anthropomorphise the animals are sad, insecure people seeking vicarious validation of their life choices.

Or they just need to get a life.

Then there are "pet owners". These range from the "animal lovers" mentioned aforehand, to animal "farmers" who try to make money from the animals, usually by breeding them for sale. The choice is often between cruelty and unnatural control/indignity.

Which is not to say that there are no "good" pet owners. But these are usually people with large compounds for the dogs to run freely, explore excitedly, and mark naturally. Most SG pet owners do not have that luxury.

The argument over whether the puppy could have been saved or re-homed misses the bigger picture. 

The point is, there are different views and values about pets and the value of an animal's life. You may believe that all life is sacrosanct. That is your right. But it is the right equally of others to believe otherwise, or not to the same extent as you. 

Imposing your views, or wanting your views to be paramount, is not much different from Lawrence Khong believing that adultery should be punished with dismissal from the job, regardless of one's pregnancy or need for income at one of the most critical point in one's life, or the law of the land. The issue of the death of that puppy is at best a moral issue. And moral issues are personal choices. It is not a legal issue.]

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