New Law Society President Adrian Tan Calls HDB’s Pet Cat Ban – Mothership.SG

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Adrian Tan of the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) took over as the organization’s new president this year alone. He wasted no time in raising his voice on an issue close to the hearts of Singaporeans: pet cats.

sunbathe is a partner at TSMP Law Corporation, and also wrote the popular novels “Teenage Textbook” and “Teenage Workbook”.

Tan is also known for his commentary on legal and social issues, many of which he posts on his LinkedIn page.

About six months ago he took a stand against the Cat ban by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) as pets.

This was reposted on the Facebook page, Sayang Our Singapore Community Catson January 3, opening the discussion on whether cats should be allowed as pets in HDBs.

The post has gained traction with 1,300 shares and 131 comments so far.

HDB’s reasons for banning cats are ‘terrible’

At HDBsit is stated that cats are not permitted in the apartments, while dogs (HDB approved breeds) and small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs are permitted.

HDB added:

“They (cats) are generally difficult to contain in the apartment. When allowed to roam indiscriminately, they tend to shed their fur and defecate or urinate in public areas, and also emit meows, which may disturb your neighbours.”

However, Tan disagreed and called it an “irrational and unfair” rule that affects 80% of the population – those who live in HDB apartments.

Here is his response to the reasons given by HDB:

1. Cats are generally difficult to contain in the apartment.

“The same goes for dogs, birds, mice and even humans. All pets need some type of restraint, such as grids. Cats are easier to contain than dogs because cats are smaller and content to be solitary. I consider that to be a bad reason.”

2. Cats tend to shed their fur.

“Dogs too.”

3. Cats tend to defecate or urinate in public places.

“Dogs do too. And, in fact, cats don’t tend to poop or pee in public spaces, as they just use the household litter box.”

4. Cats whine.

“Very rarely. And dogs bark, especially when strangers walk past an apartment. Birds, especially parrots, also make a lot of noise.”

Pets can make people happy

Additionally, Tan said pets can make people happy by helping to reduce stress and depression.

He added:

“In the age of lockdowns and remote working, pets ease the pain of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship. Caring for an animal helps children learn empathy and compassion. responsibility.”

While it is good to have dogs as pets, he pointed out that many Singaporeans cannot do so for religious and medical reasons.

“Cats are a wonderful option,” Tan wrote, “they are easy to care for. They just stay home, don’t bark, and are small.”

He also argued that while condominium units are no larger than HDB units, residents are allowed to keep cats.

“Could it be that only those who live in private accommodation have the right to have cats? Or are condo cats wiser and more polite? Are cats only for the rich?

Should the ban be lifted?

The Facebook post sparked debate among users, many of whom took issue with HDB’s reasoning that cats defecate or urinate in public, as dogs do too.

“Dog owners let their dog pee on the empty deck and poop all over the place when they take their dog for a walk. I have to be very careful not to step on it when I go for my night run,” said one facebook user.

Support for Tan’s position

Many who agreed with Tan said lifting the ban could better protect cat welfare.

An user said, “When we give cats legal status in HDB, we can better protect and advocate for the welfare of cats.”

The SPCA also supports lifting the ban. He said in a Facebook post in December 2019:

“We believe that lifting the ban, establishing responsible cat ownership rules and implementing a microchipping and registration system will improve the management and welfare of cats in Singapore. “

Louis Ng, Member of Parliament Nee Soon GRC and founder of animal rescue group Acres, also questioned the ban in a Facebook post in October 2020 and said HDB’s concerns about cats can be “easily resolved”.

He added: “A lot of people keep cats in HDB flats. We have a rule that we do not actively enforce. Why then do we have this rule?

Ng is fighting for a review of the HDB chat ban.

Another view

However, the Facebook group Kittens RescueSG commented that the “main reason” behind the ban is the problem of “cat hoarders” where residents raise and house many cats in their HDB apartments.

“The reason is the owner, not the animal,” he said.

An animal rescuer, Fiona Loh, once said Mothership that if cats from cat hoarders are not rehomed, they will eventually be abandoned.

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Best photos by TSMP website and Lily Banse to Unsplash.