With effect from 1 January 2014, a new licensing ruling has been passed to pet shops which prevent those under 16-year-old from buying a cat, dog or rabbit from a pet shop, unless accompanied by their parents or legal guardians. Furthermore, pet shop owners are to also screen older potential customers before allowing them to buy a pet.
Meanwhile, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has given a six months grace period, till June 30, 2014 for full implementation of the new law.
Under the new law pet shop owners maybe be fined up to S$ 500 and repeat offenders may have their licenses suspended or revoked.
Under the new ruling, some pet shops are expecting business to fall about 15%, but believe that will be a short term loss. While the advantage of the ruling also means that those whom are really into taking good care of their pet in long term basis will buy more products which in turn to be more business for the shop owners.
I think that is a question that most of the citizens are asking at the moment. There is an uproar in the internet and social network such as facebook the purpose of the new law and debates has been ongoing. Though it restrict under 16 to buy a pet, how would a pet shop owner judge older customer if they are eligible to keep a pet ? Through their deep pocket, looks or character ? A thing which no one knows for sure.