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Sat 26 Jun 2004

"Rise of pet shops fuels abandonment fears."

Category : animalwelfare

"Rise of pet shops fuels abandonment fears". Straits Times, 26th June 2004, [pdf].

Excerpt: 'There are 642 pet shops in Singapore, an increase from 291 in 2001. In 2003, SPCA picked up about 23,300 abandoned and stray animals, some half of which were dropped on its doorstep. Only about 9 per cent find homes.

Pet abandonment is illegal. Anyone convicted can be fined up to $10,000, face jail of up to 12 months, or both. But so far, no one has been caught.

SPCA has been pushing for measures like microchipping so that abandoned animals can be traced to owners, and limiting the supply from pet farms and the number of pet shops.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) launched a campaign on 20 Jun 2004, with a series of news paper ads which appeal, "Do not abandon your pets".

'Education alone is not helping the statistics. As long as pets are being churned out by pet shops and pet farms, and people continue to abandon their pets, the situation can get out of control,' said SPCA's executive officer, Deidre Moss.'

Ed's note - AVA's reply of 11th June 2004 [pdf] to a letter (29 May 2004) by SPCA and the House Rabbit Society did not really respond to these suggestions but re-emphasised education as the long-term solution to pet abandonment.

Posted at 8:36AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Sat 26 Jun 2004

Luohan no longer a prized catch

Category : animalwelfare

"Luohan no longer a prized catch now", by Arti Mulchand. Straits Times, 26th June 2004 [pdf].

Excerpt - 'Oversupply has killed their value and appeal; at least 89 ornamental fish shops have closed down in the last two years.

'Of the thousands that have been sold and spawned, fish fanciers and aquarium owners say many have simply been dumped into ponds and reservoirs. One owner emptied his collection into the storm drain near his home when he could not handle their upkeep anymore.

The more expensive arowana, which the luohan displaced temporarily, is back in favour. Fighting fish, or betta, are still in demand, as are other small tropical fishes.'

Posted at 8:35AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email |

Sat 26 Jun 2004

"Rare Trees of Labrador", by Joseph Lai

Category : nature

Labrador Nature Reserve, along with Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve are the first nature areas conserved by modern Singapore. Recognised as "national treasures that make Singapore distinct", thay are still places of discovery and will remain so for along time.

In May 2004, I encountered Joseph Lai at the park, looking at the plants, and he soon reported a new record of fern for Singapore, Tectaria vasta.

He now writes about "Rare Trees of Labrador - the subtleness and significance of extra-flora forms, textures and colours", by Joseph Lai. Earth, June 2004.

Excerpt - "There are a wonderful array of subtle forms, textures and colours in leaves, twigs and bark, that are not just artistic creations of Nature but also signature-characters for identification. And we can certainly draw inspiration from some rare trees at Labrador Nature Reserve."

"Take for instance, Rapanea porteriana - a once common tree of mangroves, coastal headlands and islands in Singapore. Due to the substantial lost of coastal habitats through land conversions in the past decades, their numbers had been decimated to the point of non-existence.

For the ardent botanical student, however, a single opportune tree standing on the lower slope of Labrador is waiting to be studied. Easily accessible by the sandy beach, look for the signature branches which sets the tree apart. Serpentine and wiry, the branches are stubbed with numerous inflorescence stalks throughout the year.

Look for a freshly fallen leaf next, and hold it up against the light. Tiny spots of light shine through the numerous oil glands which punctuate the leaf blade like minute lenses. This is a diagnostic character shared by many of Rapanea's member-species in the family Myrsinaceae. Similar oil glands can also be found in the leaves of the Orange Family, Rutaceae."

The complete article also features Merambong, Symplocos adenophylla, Seashore mangosteen and Saga hutan, can be read at Joseph's Earth webpage.

Posted at 12:45AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news