#Animal Welfare
Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee

As of 9th October 2014, first time offenders of animal cruelty could be fined up to $15,000, jailed up to 18 months or both. Offenders who are in animal-related businesses will face heftier penalties for animal cruelty up to $40,000 in fines or jail, not exceeding two years or both.

According to Section 41C of the Animals and Birds Act (Cap. 7, 2002 Rev. Ed.), owners of animals need to make efforts to ensure that their animals are provided with sufficient and appropriate food, water, and shelter. Owners must also ensure that their animals are protected from disease and injury, and not cause them any unnecessary pain or suffering. Animal owners are also prohibited from abandoning their animals. If their animals go missing, they are to make reasonable efforts to recover them.

For murder punishment in Singapore, under Section 300 of the Penal Code it states that a person commits murder if he or she causes the death of another person while possessing any of the following states of mind:
- the intention of causing death;
- the intention of causing bodily injury and knowledge that the injury is likely to kill the person;
- the intention of causing a bodily injury which is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death (usually determined based on objective medical evidence);
- the knowledge that what you are doing is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death.
Additionally, under Singapore law, it is still murder in Singapore even if the offender did not intend to kill the actual victim but instead intended to kill someone else. This covers situations in which a bystander, rather than the intended victim, is killed by mistake. In such situations, the offender would still be charged with murder.

The maximum sentence for murder is the death penalty, which is mandatory for murder under the first limb of section 300 – in other words if a person caused the death of another person with the intention of causing death. If a person committed murder under any of the remaining three limbs of section 300 – that is, causing death of another person without the specific intention of causing death – then the death penalty is optional and the Court may instead choose to impose a sentence of imprisonment for the rest of the person’s natural life, with caning.

It is not uncommon to come across animal abuse videos as well as videos of people intentionally causing the death of an animal in Singapore. If a person in Singapore is found to be guilty of murder and is served the death penalty or life imprisonment, why should an animal abuser who took the life of a living creature not be served the same sentence as a murderer? Singaporeans who commit animal abuse crimes probably do not care about the punishment that comes after the crime as it is too lenient.

We need to re-evaluate the penalties instilled for animal abuse in Singapore to even harsher penalties in order to stop or try to minimise the number of animal abuse crimes.

We, the undersigned, call on the Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee and the Ministry of National Development to increase the penalties for animal cruelty in Singapore as well as to emend the penalties so that animal abusers, when found guilty would receive the same abuse actions caused to the animal as their punishment (example: abuser caused death to an animal, the abuser would then receive the death sentence).

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The Animal abusers to receive same abuse actions towards animals as penalty petition to Animal Welfare Legislation Review Committee was written by Jazreel Hoo and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.