Published: 09 May 2016
MP Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider updating and aligning the definition of "animals" in the Road Traffic Act with the definition in the Animals and Birds Act to ensure that there is alignment of legislation across the statutes.
1. The definitions of "animals" in the Road Traffic Act and the Animals and Birds Act are not scoped in the same way. The objectives of the two Acts are different.
2. The Animals and Birds Act seeks to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases through animals, control the movement of animals, prevent cruelty to animals, and safeguard the general welfare of animals in Singapore. On the other hand, the primary intent of the Road Traffic Act is to ensure the safety of road users, including motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
3. The specific provision in the Road Traffic Act relating to animals had been confined to farm animals of commercial value. The original intent of the legislation was to ensure restitution to their owners should an accident occur.
4. The question is whether we should now mandatorily require all motorists to stop, should they hit an animal. The primary requirement must be safety. They should stop, if it is safe to do so. If the motorist requires assistance in attending to the animal, he can contact the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
5. The Ministry of Home Affairs intends to review the definition of "animals" in the Road Traffic Act, and also consider any amendment in the context of road safety, especially the safety of the motorist and other road users.