Research on Animal Welfare

This page consolidates research and social commentary on animal welfare, particularly cat welfare, in Singapore. 

Singapore's Community Cats

Animal Rescue Guide, February 2017
Susan Roberts

With a population density of nearly 8000 people per square kilometer in Singapore (compared with around 350 in Japan), there doesn’t seem to be enough space for people, let alone pets. Any stroll through the orderly and beautiful suburbs will tell you that’s really not the case. High rise apartments make for comfortable living in less space on the ground, leaving plenty left over for lush green areas and wide sidewalks down which people can always be seen walking dogs. A closer look behind some of the lovely flowering bushes, can be even more revealing. As elsewhere in the world, pet guardianship has unfortunately led to a population of homeless cats (and a smaller number of dogs), along with their unwanted offspring trying to survive on the Singapore streets. The good news is that there seems to be a continued increase in the number of people receptive to humane strategies, which along with a dedicated army of volunteers, has in turn brought about positive change.

No room to swing a cat? Animal treatment and urban space in Singapore

Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 5, No. 2, August 2016, pp. 305-329
Ying-kit Chan

Since Singapore’s independence in 1965, the People’s Action Party government has launched an extensive urban planning program to transform the island into a modern metropolis. This paper discusses human-animal relations and the management of stray cats in postcolonial Singapore. In exploring the perceptions and handling of stray cats in Singapore, I argue that stray cats became an urban “problem” as a result of the government’s public-health regime, urban renewal projects, and attempts to fashion itself and Singapore for international tastes, and that cat activists are the main agents of rebuilding connections between animals and everyday urban life. In particular, I analyze how cat-welfare associations and individual citizens assume functions that the government has been loath to perform unless absolutely necessary.

Cat Welfare Society, and whether social media can actually save Singapore's cats

For Singapore-based movements like Cat Welfare Society, social media plays a large part in getting the word out there. With a big cat community, which have inspired popular Facebook pages like Humans of New York-esque page, Cats of Singapore, and Cats of Redhill (think of it like a Residents Committee, but for cats), it is integral in CWS’s quest to get the word out there. But how much can social media really do?

Considering Animals: Contemporary Studies in Human–Animal Relations

Chapter 13 Zones of Contagion: The Singapore Body Politic and the Body of the Street-Cat 2013
Lucy Davis

The outbreak of SARS in early 2003 provided the Singapore government with an opportunity to renew a historic obsession with hygiene, eugenics and surveillance. One emergency action undertaken was a nationwide cull of street-cats, leading to a rare public confrontation between civil society groups and the state.

Animal Protection Laws of Singapore and Malaysia

Research Collection School Of Law, 2013
Alvin W. L. See

This article offers an overview and assessment of the laws relating to the protection of animals in Singapore and Malaysia. The focus is on identifying the interpretations of the statutory offences of cruelty that will best promote their objectives and effectiveness.

A year of greater engagement 

TODAY, 7 May 2012, p 10, 12 & 14 

Since last May's General Election, the Government has been reaching out more to civil society and netizens. How successful has it been? What has been the impact on policymaking?

Evolving attitudes towards animals since their domestication

Part of a talk by CWS, together with SPCA and Vegetarian Society of Singapore, on the intelligence and emotions of animals that was aired at the South & West Asia Vegetarian Congress, held in Bangalore on 30 Oct-1 Nov 2010.