AVA says OK to sharks as pets

March 1, 2006

So its ok to keep a shark as pet without licence in a confined space but it is wrong to keep domesticated cats in HDB? What the hell is wrong with these bureaucrats????

Its high time for these government agencies to review their archaic rules.

TodayOnline
2 Mar

RESIDENTS and readers concerned about the welfare of a 1.7 metre nurse shark and two black-tipped reef sharks in an aquarium at Parc Palais condominium have been informed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) that a licence is not required to keep sharks as pets.

The incident came to a head after the Animal Concerns and Research Society (Acres) was told that an aquarium attached to the swimming pool at Parc Palais condominium was home to the three sharks.

The largest of these, the nurse shark, has been in the aquarium for nearly six years and is fed daily by a caretaker who feeds it through a manhole.

Following the reactions, the AVA has advised the condominium management to remove the two black-tipped reef sharks, which can grow to one metre in length, as the tank may not be able to “accommodate them when they are fully grown”.

Acres, however, has expressed concern about the interpretation of the law and the ownership of wild animals, pointing out that under the Animals and Birds (Pet Shop and Exhibition) Rules 2004, the AVA does not permit the sale of sharks in pet shops as these are fish that have a large territorial range in their natural habitat.

“So it’s contradictory to say that it’s acceptable to keep a pet shark in a small tank, when it isn’t legal to buy it,” said Acres’ president and executive director Louis Ng.

The AVA explained that sharks are not allowed to be sold in pet shops as they may not have the space, but sharks can be sold in fish farms, which have more space to house larger tanks.

Some of the residents at the condominium, however, are none too pleased.

Science enrichment teacher Shanmuganathan Kasibyravan, who moved out six months ago, said: “It was sad to see the shark in such a small tank. Some residents and I wrote to the management about it, but nothing was done.”

Teacher Mary Lynn Cogliano said: “The apartment has been a preferred location to many expatriates I know. But I don’t think that will be the case in the future unless the captive sharks are moved to an appropriate location.”

A group of 20 people who live at Parc Palais or are friends of residents living at the condominium like Ms Cogliano, have signed a collective letter to express their feelings.

— Vinita Ramani

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One Response to “AVA says OK to sharks as pets”

  1. CatDonna & Cats said

    Oh good grief. The madness! The madness!!!

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