writing to MPTC about their feeding-of-strays poster

from: Elaine Chiam
to: internet@mptc.org.sg
cc: stomp@stomp.com.sg, veron CWS ,news@newstoday.com.sg
date: Mon, May 17, 2010 at 1:32 PM
subject:RE: MPTC notice in Ubi concerning care for urban wildlife

To whom it may concern:

I write regarding the attached notice found propagated around the residential estate of Kampung Ubi. The text in the notice states, I quote: “No Feeding of Strays – Residents who come across anyone committing the above offence are urged to contact our Town Council…”

I understand that this may be a misrepresentation of legal fact. Feeding of stray animals as part of our community’s appreciation of nature and care for urban wildlife in our estate, is not in fact illegal as the notice has misleadingly stated. I believe that feeding of stray cats are not constituted as a legal “offence” as stated in your notice.

The public has been advised by animal welfare group Cat Welfare Society that such accusations of feeding stray cats being a criminal offence should be escalated to the police if not resolved. I have informed Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre (tel no. 68486999) that recently my own stray cat feeding items outside my doorstep were stolen, allegedly by MPTC staff. The Geylang NPC officer assures me that stealing, that is, theft, is a crime and the complaint was duly investigated by the Police.

MPTC may perhaps have confused feeding stray animals with littering. There are cases of littering in Ubi but not as a result of feeding stray animals – bulky refuse strewn along the staircase landings, a lack of recycling bins in Ubi resulting in recyclable waste being dumped along common walkways, a lack of dustbins and waste disposal units for shopfronts in Ubi resulting in their waste disposal being thrown in common areas. These concerns regarding littering are not due to the feeding of stray animals but actually due to MPTC’s negligence in managing the waste disposal in Kampung Ubi.

From what has been observed by myself and my neighbours, those residents who take responsibility in feeding the stray cats in Ubi actually do not litter. In fact, they are also engaged in stray cat sterilisation in order to reduce the stray cat population and thus complaints from residents in Kampung Ubi, a job that I personally believe should be engaged by the Town Council as the humane way of pest-control in our community. Almost all the stray cats in Ubi are sterilised with a tipped ear. I have not noticed any sterilisation of stray cats being done by the MPTC.

As such, I feel that your notice is misleading, inaccurate and misrepresented. These notices may have been printed in error and I advise that they be removed immediately. The Town Council should encourage responsible care and feeding by our community for the stray animals in our neighbourhood. Should the MPTC refuse to remove these misrepresented notices, or unlawfully charge any of those who care for the urban wildlife in Kampung Ubi, please be advised that my neighbours and I will be reporting this matter to Geylang NPC.


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