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MP Louis Ng invites public input on fresh guidelines for euthanising pet dogs

SINGAPORE — Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng on Sunday (June 7) invited members of the public to take part in a push to establish clearer rules on euthanising pet dogs after the widely reported demise of a dog named Loki.

MP Louis Ng invites public input on fresh guidelines for euthanising pet dogs

A dog named Loki (pictured) has become emblematic of a debate over euthanising healthy dogs. This type of euthanasia is when a veterinary surgeon is asked by a dog's owner to kill the animal, and does so in accordance with the law.

SINGAPORE — Member of Parliament (MP) Louis Ng on Sunday (June 7) invited members of the public to take part in a push to establish clearer rules on euthanising pet dogs after the widely reported demise of a dog named Loki.

Mr Ng, MP for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC), issued the invitation on a Facebook post on Sunday.

In mid-May, an online furore erupted over the euthanasia of Loki, a two-and-a-half-year-old mongrel, which was allegedly taken to a veterinary surgeon by the family who had adopted the animal. They asked the vet to kill the dog, which the vet proceeded to do.

Mr Ng, who is also the founder of welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), wrote on Facebook that he is working with a group of veterinarians on a set of proposed recommendations to be submitted to the Ministry of National Development.

On May 30, he had said that more than 50 people, vets, animal trainers, animal welfare groups, lawyers and law students had got together to discuss the proposed guidelines.

The recommendations seek to make sure that all available options are explored before the euthanasia of a healthy animal is even considered, Mr Ng added.

One of the 16 questions posed in the public consultation is whether vets need to ask pet owners to “set out in writing” their reasons for euthanising their healthy dogs.

Another question is if vets should be required to find out if a healthy dog was adopted, then find out if an adoption agreement requiring the return of the dog exists.

In Loki’s case, it had been adopted from welfare group Exclusively Mongrels. The group has since sued for breach of the adoption agreement that required the owner to consult them before allegedly euthanising the dog.

Loki had displayed apparently aggressive behaviour, including biting people. The Animal and Veterinary Service unit under the National Parks Board is currently investigating the case, after news of the dog’s death emerged early last month.

Mr Ng then called for new regulations to prevent healthy but aggressive pets from being euthanised before options to find a new home or re-train the pets are explored.

Under current regulations in the Singapore Veterinary Association’s code of ethics for veterinarians, vets must consider euthanising animals to prevent unnecessary suffering, but must first consider all appropriate treatment options.

Vets must obtain informed consent for euthanasia in writing as far as possible, and may turn down a euthanasia request if they do not deem it necessary.

The regulations do not specifically address the question of euthanising a healthy animal.

Related topics

Loki Louis Ng pet euthanasia veterinary

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