pet food



Dirty Pet Stores

Falling standards of pet shop conditions 

A grading system for pet stores was introduced in 2007 to raise the standards of animal welfare. Compliance with license conditions takes up 80% weightage of the grade, while the remaining 20% depends on the adoption of best practices. This year, four D grades were handed out by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), the lowest ranking for pet stores in Singapore. 

A visit to these 4 stores saw a tank with a dead frog floating on the surface while fish swam in it, another tank containing water so murky that the fish could barely be seen, and muddy puddles of water everywhere. Such stores operate carelessly, selling sick or underage animals, and maintaining the shop in poor conditions.  

Cramped living conditions aid in the spread of diseases and parasites through the feces of animals, and further increases the chance of a disease arising. In 2009, 80 complaints, mostly about the sale of unhealthy or underage pets or unsanitary conditions, were made against 277 pet stores; 30 were fined. 

Stores that fail to display their grade risk being fined, though none have been fined yet. Those with a consistent D grade have to send their staff for remedial and risk being unable to renew their license (which is needed to operate a pet shop). Those refusing to comply with the rules can be taken to court. 

The grade is to be reviewed during license renewal or when the store has committed an offence. A major offence would have an immediate impact on the animal, while minor offences would not afflict the animal significantly. The latter will result in a smaller degree of downgrading. Pet shop grades are available at AVA’s website at . 


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