Cruelty not cause of all cases of cat deaths in Yishun, authorities say

Cruelty not cause of all cases of cat deaths in Yishun, authorities say
A cat in Yishun. TODAY file photo
Only two cases were found to have elements of abuse
Published: 12:49 PM, January 29, 2016
Updated: 1:14 AM, January 30, 2016
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SINGAPORE — Twenty-eight injured or dead cats have been found in Yishun over the past four months, but just two of the cases were likely to have been caused by abuse, said the authorities. 

No evidence of abuse was found in seven cases, but no clear conclusion has been drawn for the remaining 19.

Speaking at a joint media briefing by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and Singapore Police Force, Mr Joshua Teoh, AVA’s deputy director (Animal Management Department), said: “We would like to emphasise that not all cases of cat deaths in Yishun are cruelty cases. Their deaths could be due to many reasons such as misadventure, disease or accidents.”

The authorities also pointed out that post-mortems did not turn up findings consistent with signs of poisoning or injuries such as gouged eyeballs or slit tongues — which had been reported by animal rescue group, Yishun 326 Tabby Cat. 

The 28 cases in Yishun were reported between Sept 24 and Jan 27. Of the 26 cat carcasses found, post-mortems were conducted on 18 of them, while the remaining eight were buried or disposed by cat feeders and town council cleaners before the authorities were notified.  

The results showed that most of the cats died from external trauma, which could come from being hit by a blunt object, a car, or falling from a height. In the seven cases where no abuse was found, three cats died in road traffic accidents, three fell from heights, and one died due to natural causes.

The two injured cats found are among the 19 open cases still under investigation. Superintendent Ho Yenn Dar, assistant director of the police’s public communications division, said it would be unfair to assume these 19 were abuse cases. 

“In some cases, the carcasses are too badly decomposed (or) have been disposed of by whoever found them or have been buried,” he said. Nonetheless, the authorities have not ruled out the possibility of abuse and are continuing to appeal for witnesses to step forward and for more evidence to be shared.  

Of the two cases of alleged abuse, one is under investigation, and a 51-year-old man was arrested last Saturday for his alleged involvement. The dead cat, which belonged to the suspect’s family, was found next to Block 116 Yishun Ring Road a day before the arrest. 

TODAY understands that the police had found a trail of blood on the second floor of the block, after arriving at the scene. The trail led them to some residents, who shared that the dead cat belonged to a particular household. Following interviews with members of the household and a review of surveillance camera footage, the police identified the suspect. 

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