NParks working with town councils to stop use of poison in wildlife control measures

SINGAPORE – The National Parks Board (NParks) is working with town councils to stop the use of poison in animal control measures.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann told Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 3) that NParks does not use poison in its efforts to control pest birds.

“NParks is also working with the town councils to encourage them to move away from the use of toxins and to adopt animal control measures and practices that are humane and safe,” she said.

Ms Sim was responding to questions from Mr Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC), who asked if NParks could stop the practice of poisoning wild animals as it is often not only members of the target species that die.

“There’s a huge knock-on effect. Just recently, Acres rescued a white-bellied sea eagle which had consumed the poisoned wildlife,” Mr Ng said, referring to the non-governmental organisation, the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).

“Thankfully, it has recovered and was released back into the wild but there are many cases where cats, dogs and other animals consume the poisoned animal and subsequently dies.

“So can I ask whether we can stop this practice? Not have measures in place during the poisoning exercise but stop this practice altogether.”

Mr Ng had also asked if the National Development Ministry will develop an action plan for urban wildlife management focusing on co-existence rather than removal of wildlife.

Ms Sim said NParks works closely with various stakeholders such as nature groups, academics, agencies and the community on various initiatives.

These include developing educational resources and outreach initiatives to advise the community on how to respond to wildlife sightings and working with nature groups on matters like wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release, she added.

“Notwithstanding this, NParks may have to carry out measures such as the removal of wildlife to safeguard public safety, where needed,” Ms Sim said.

She added: “NParks will continue to work closely with the community to promote harmonious human-wildlife co-existence, as part of our efforts to transform Singapore into a City in Nature.

“All of us can also play our part by not feeding wildlife, keeping our residential areas clean and appreciating wildlife from a safe distance.”