By Kok Yufeng, The New Paper, 13 February 2019 at 06:00 am
ST FILE PHOTO - Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of National Development (MND)
Picture posted by Kok Yufeng, The New Paper on 13 February 2019 at 06:00 am
This comes after an amendment Bill to transfer the non-food plant and animal-related functions from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to National Parks Board (NParks) was passed yesterday.
This follows the establishment of the Singapore Food Agency, which will take over AVA's food safety and food security responsibilities.
The AVA will thereafter cease to exist.
Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of National Development (MND), told Parliament that the move will bring several benefits.
NParks, a statutory board under MND, will now provide a one-stop service on animal management and animal welfare issues and a new Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) will be formed as the main touch-point.
The AVS will take on AVA's current role as the first responder for animal-related feedback, whether issues occur in parks, nature reserves or other parts of Singapore.
The transfer of animal-related functions from AVA to NParks aims to create a more holistic understanding of flora and fauna and better manage human-animal interactions.
The move will combine NParks’ expertise in wildlife conservation and horticultural science, and AVA’s in animal and plant health, said Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), and Ministry of National Development (MND).
Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said: “While we have done well to balance urban development and conservation of our natural heritage, there are opportunities to achieve greater synergy by bringing together the plant and animal roles.”
This comes as the Government announced that a new government agency, the Singapore Food Agency, will be formed on April 1, 2019, and take over the work of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
Having a single lead agency in wildlife management will also help reduce the time needed to coordinate different agencies in certain cases.
For example, under the old structure, if there is public feedback about wild boars roaming in a public place, NParks will handle the case if the animals are spotted in a park or nature reserve. If the boars appear in urban areas, the case will be referred to the AVA.
However, vector control, which is the management of disease-carrying pests such as rodents, cockroaches and mosquitoes, will still be carried out by National Environment Agency (NEA).
Posted by Derek Wong, The Straits Times on 26 July 2018 - NParks Pasir Panjang nursery
NParks will also take over the existing Animal Response Centre from AVA, which members of the public can contact if they encounter wildlife like snakes or wild boars.
Ms Sun added that NParks will be better positioned to manage human-animal issues, which are becoming increasingly complex.
It will also be able to better detect and respond to zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, as the changes will allow NParks to look at all potential points of incursion.
Picture posted by Rachel Genevieve Chia, Business Insider on 11 January 2019 - Garden of ‘forest giants’, National Parks Board
Ms Sun said: "Disease response can also be enhanced with the consolidation of NParks' existing expertise in ecology and animal population studies, with AVA's expertise in veterinary science and diagnostic testing."
Picture posted by @hansartgallere, Oino.site on 16 August 2018 at 08:38:30 - Certificate of Appreciation presented to Han's Art Gallere on 24 February 2018 by Ms Sun Xueling, adviser to Pasir Ris - Punggol GRC (Punggol West) grassroots organisations
NParks will also take over the administration of the Animals and Birds Act, giving its officers the power to take enforcement action against animal abusers or those who do not take care of their pets.
Picture posted by Carolaine Santana - A little bird's nest in the Hidden Spring Garden Path
Ms Sun said it will undertake a holistic review of the regulatory approach for animal-related businesses such as pet boarders, pet breeders and veterinary centres.
"And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so." (Genesis 1:30).
Picture saved by Kenja Wy to PC Graphics - Animations
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