|Singapore military draws fire over dog abuse video
Singapore's military has sparked an online storm after punishing a whistle-blowing soldier for leaking video footage of a dog allegedly being abused inside an army camp.
The controversy was triggered after a soldier filmed a cowering stray dog suspended by a taut white rope around its neck in a military camp bathroom, preventing it from lying down or moving around, AFP reports.
The soldier released the 21-second clip to an animal rights activist, a member of local group Animal Lovers League, who shared the video on Facebook on January 14.
The clip went viral and triggered widespread condemnation.
In a Facebook post late Tuesday the military denied any abuse of stray dogs by the camp's commanders and said the soldier had been punished for violating rules against unauthorized photography inside the camp and disclosure of information to persons outside the Singapore Armed Forces.
The Straits Times said he was ordered to be confined in camp for 21 days.
The army also said stray dogs entering the camp “were a persistent danger to personnel,’’ with six incidents of attacks in December.
“The SAF does not condone any acts of cruelty to animals... The dogs were never abused. Allegations against these commanders were untrue and unfounded,'' it said.
The statement however did not comment on how the dog featured in the viral video came to be restrained in the military camp's bathroom.
Animal rights activist Louis Ng said the incident had caused anger as the army statement did not address the case of the dog in the video.
“If you are not going to release all the facts to the public, rumors are going to spread like wildfire,'' Ng, the chief executive of rights group Animal Concerns Research & Education Society, told AFP.
“People acknowledge that the soldier committed an offense according to the law, but there is also confusion because it doesn't make sense that the dog was not abused,'' he said.