SINGAPORE: The keeping of poultry in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats is not allowed for public health reasons and to "manage disamenities", said Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How on Wednesday (Nov 9).
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Tan added that when there are complaints about chicken rearing in HDB flats, HDB works closely with agencies to engage the flat owners to make alternative arrangements to rehome their chickens where necessary.
"To mitigate the risk of spread of avian disease and to safeguard human and animal health, we generally limit the number of poultry that can be reared on any premises on a non-commercial basis to 10," said Mr Tan, who added that the rule is stricter for HDB flats.
Mr Tan was responding to a question from MP Ang Wei Neng (PAP-West Coast) who had asked how many complaints had been received over the last five years relating to the noise and smell generated from live chickens located at the HDB estates and private residential estates respectively.
Mr Ang had also asked if there would be a review of the chicken-rearing policy in HDB flats, private residential apartments and private landed residential properties.
Responding to a supplementary question from MP Louis Ng (PAP - Nee Soon) who had asked which legislation bans the keeping of chickens in flats, Mr Tan said that this falls under HDB's Memorandum of Lease.
He added that from 2017 to 2021, agencies and town councils received a total of about 2,400 and 1,700 instances of feedback about chickens in HDB and private residential estates respectively.
"Private residential owners who keep chickens on their property are also urged to do their part to minimise any inconveniences to their neighbours, such as noise as well. Under the Community Dispute Management Framework, disputing parties can seek mediation at the Community Mediation Centre, or in more intractable cases, refer the matter to the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal," said Mr Tan.
"NParks will continue to work with our partners to raise public awareness on responsible pet ownership. NParks and HDB review pet ownership policies regularly to safeguard public health, while balancing the needs of different segments of the community."