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Rat Reporting: Channel NewsAsia Blasted for Twisting Facts on Bukit Batok Rat Problem

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Singapore’s voluntary dog welfare organisation Save Our Street Dogs has rapped Channel NewAsia, after the news channel held an interview with one of its volunteers, then cut out parts of the interview that contained the gist of her comments.

They accuse CNA of doing that simply to fit the volunteers comments into its story on how feeding of stray dogs contributed to the rat infestation problem in Bukit Batok.

This letter was written by the volunteer organisation:

SOSD: There has been much attention on the stray dogs at Bukit Batok this past week.

A report on rat infestation broke out, prompting calls for a pest controller to exterminate the rats. Unfortunately, the rats are not the only ones that will be affected. Measures have also been stepped up to remove the stray dogs there. Four puppies have already been caught with more trapping planned. Rat poison is also being used, which, if ingested by the dogs, will cause them to die a slow and painful death.

Feeding of the stray dogs is blamed for the rat infestation. So now there is pressure to get rid of the dogs as well. From what we know, however, the stray dog feeders in Bukit Batok feed responsibly, taking care to clear up so that no rubbish is left behind. We do not know, however, if there others who have been leaving food there.

Channel News Asia interviewed SOSD’s Outreach Officer Meiyi about the stray dog feeding two days ago. In her interview, she was asked the situation in Bukit Batok, and how to feed responsibly.

Meiyi responded that stray dogs feeding is perfectly fine. You can prepare food, do your rounds, and feed the strays, but you have to come back and clear the remains that the dogs did not finish because that would actually bring about pests such as cockroaches and rats. We do not know if people leave food there. However, this is also a hill, and the dogs are difficult to reach, hence cleaning up can be difficult. Stray dog feeders are volunteers who fork out their money and time for the dogs, and cannot be blamed entirely. Education is important – the public should be educated to be more tolerant towards the strays dogs. Trap, Neuter, Release will be the best and most humane of keeping the stray numbers in check, not catching and culling.

We are disappointed that most of what Meiyi said got cut off except the first part, to be in line with the tone of the whole story, hence giving the impression that she was putting blame on the stray dogs feeders. Meiyi has been a stray dog feeder for several years, and her heart goes out to the feeders in Bukit Batok.

Our minds are on the pitiful stray dogs in Bukit Batok. We hope to be able to negotiate a middle ground, so that they may be shown some mercy. There are many solutions such as designating a feeding point to ensure cleanliness, and of course, sterilising the dogs to keep the population stable.

The first step to solving this is to contact the stray dog feeders, so that we have a collective voice. If you are a feeder in Bukit Batok MRT, or know the feeders, please contact us. Email us at: admin@sosd.org.sg

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