When Singapore’s housing authority recommended a dog owner to debark his pet, it didn’t anticipate that Singaporeans can bark even louder.
A suggestion by Singapore’s public housing authority that owners of noisy dogs consider “debarking” their pets to avoid inconveniencing neighbours has raised animal lovers’ hackles in the city-state and prompted much ridicule on social media.
The authority, the Housing and Development Board (HDB), recommended in a notice posted in a residential block that one option for dogs that will not keep quiet is to “debark” them.
Debarking involves removing a section of a dog’s vocal cord to reduce the volume of its bark and is recommended as a solution of “last resort” to control noisy pets, according to the website of Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.
Animal welfare groups, however, have responded by saying the practice is cruel and unfair. “A dog also barks when it is in a stressed or anxious mode, and not hearing the dog does not mean the dog is in a stable state of mind,” the group Action For Singapore Dogs said in a Facebook post.