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Singapore lifts ban on owning cats. The ban on HDB flats has been in place for 34 years

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The Singapore authorities are lifting the ban on owning cats that has been in force since 1989. Although the ban only applied to government-built apartments, in the case of Singapore it covered approximately 80 percent of the population. Local media admit that the ban was not respected anyway.

The lifting of the ban was announced by Singapore’s Ministry of National Development on December 2. The new regulation is to enter into force in the second half of 2024. It applies to tenants of flats built and allocated under the public housing scheme, known in Singapore as the Housing & Development Board (HDB). In Singapore, approximately 80% of people currently live in such government-built housing. population, of which 90 percent tenants bought their apartments from the state.

It is forbidden to own cats

So far, regardless of whether tenants of government apartments were their owners or not, they were prohibited from owning cats. New regulations are now intended to change this. As explained by local daily The Straits Times, residents of HDB-built flats will soon be able to have up to two cats, and those who bought their flats from the government – up to three.

Tan Kiat How, the head of the ministry, emphasized during Friday’s conference that such limits were established after consultations with residents – both cat owners and those who do not have them. The new regulations require a license for each cat, and the animal must also be microchipped. “This will enable the animals to be identified and if they are found to have been abandoned or abused, the owners can be held accountable,” said Tan Kiat How, quoted by The Straits Times.

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The minister added that he is aware that some apartments already have a number of cats that exceed the indicated limits. He explained that in such cases, the authorities will not require owners to get rid of their pets. However, to maintain them, it will now be necessary to obtain a conditional license.

SEE ALSO: They killed a snake that weighed nearly 90 kilograms

Singapore legalizes cats

Singapore media recalls that local regulations have not allowed cats in apartments built by the government since 1989. Keeping a cat contrary to the ban could result in a fine of up to 4,000 Singapore dollars (equivalent to approx. PLN 12,000). “The Straits Times” notes that in practice, only those residents of Singapore whose cats were complained about were usually fined. There was no authority that regularly inspected the premises in this respect.

Hong Kong’s “South China Morning Post” also quotes the first comments of Singapore residents who, despite the ban, already owned cats. They consider the decision to withdraw the ban to be “definitely overdue”, but admit that most citizens were not overly concerned about it. One of the daily’s interlocutors even admitted that until the media started reporting on plans to lift the restrictions, he was not even aware of their existence.

In Singapore, pet ownership is strictly regulated. So far, the law allowed the possession of 62 species of animals, mainly many breeds of small dogs (each breed is treated in this classification as a separate species – ed.) and small fish and birds. However, cats were missing from the list.

SEE ALSO: A city where cats replaced children. It’s not this bad anywhere else

tvn24.pl, The Straits Times, South China Morning Post

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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