Guide Dog Laws in Singapore

The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports supports the use of Guide Dogs as another form of mobility guide for blind persons.

Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs

Guide Dogs in Public Spaces

We understand that there are concerns regarding the use of Guide Dogs in public spaces like shopping malls and restaurants. However, the Government of Singapore has demonstrated its full support of Guide Dogs.

To this end, there are two laws in Singapore that support the use of Guide Dogs: The Environmental Public Health Act, and the Rapid Transit Systems Act. Included below are the relevant extracts:

 

HDB

Guide Dogs are approved by the Housing Development Board (HDB) and Animal and Veterinary Services (AVS) to reside in HDB flats. Click this link to read more on todayonline website.

Food Establishments

Extract of the Environmental Public Health (Food Hygiene) Regulations, Chapter 95, Section 113, Regulation 29(3), (4), (13)
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the licensee of a food establishment or private market may permit any Guide Dog accompanying a blind or visually impaired person to be brought into the dining or refreshment area or any toilet of the licensed premises if the Guide Dog is:

  • Kept under proper control.
  • Restrained from straying or causing annoyance or nuisance to any person or animal, or damage to any property.
  • Held in a leash.

(4) Where the licensee of a food establishment or private market permits guide dogs accompanying blind or visually impaired persons to be brought into his licensed premises under paragraph (3), the notice referred to in paragraph (2) shall specify that guide dogs are permitted within the licensed premises.

(13) In this regulation “Guide Dog” means a Dog that is specially trained to aid a particular blind or visually impaired person.

To find out more, please refer to the advisory by Singapore Food Agency (SFA) that Guide Dogs accompanying the blind or visually impaired persons are Permitted in Food Retail Establishments here.

For food retail establishment operators, you may also refer to this joint circular issued by the Singapore Food Agency, the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and SG Enable for more information.

Public Transport

Extract of the Rapid Transit Systems Act, Chapter 263A, Section 42, Regulation 8(1), (3)
(1) Subject to paragraph (3), no person shall bring any animal into or upon, or allow any animal under his control to remain in or on, any part of the railway premises.
(3) The prohibition in paragraph (1) shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying a person with a sight or hearing impairment

Extract of the Road Traffic Act, Chapter 276, Sections 111, 140 and 144, Regulation 30A(3)
(3) A driver of an omnibus may permit a blind or visually impaired individual to bring a guide dog into the omnibus.

Guide Dogs are allowed on all public transportation by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) Mass Rapid Transit

Guide dogs are allowed on public buses. Please click links to find out more:

Irsyad (Advisory) on Guide Dogs

We understand that the Muslim community may have concerns about guide dogs accessing public transport and places. To help address these concerns, GDS has sought advice from The Office of The Mufti Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS). Guide Dogs are approved and allowed in halal-certified premises by the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) .

An advisory can be found on the MUIS website.

Extract from The Advisory:
“If the guide dogs are brought to public places such as restaurants, public transport etc which are shared by all users of different backgrounds; and if one walks past an area where the guide dog may have rested or walked past it, then this falls under the concept of umumul balwa, and a person does not need to cleanse himself using the sertu method.”

“Islam commands us to do good to all creatures, including animals. Hence, we are very much encouraged to be kind to those who need to use guide dogs to get around. Do not react in any way which may offend the owners of the guide dogs or hurt the dog itself…”

UNCPRD

The Singapore Government signed the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities on 30 November 2012 in New York. Extracts of the paper as follow:

Article 9 – Accessibility
1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:

  • Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces;
  • Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.

2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:

  • Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public;
  • Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;
  • Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities;
  • Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;
  • Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
  • Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
  • Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet;
  • Promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.

Videos

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Stories

Gary Lim

Gary Lim
Jordie, my Guide Dog, my son and my pair of eyes

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Ms Dawn Sim with GDS Guide Dog

Dawn Sim, Long-time supporter of GDS
My support for Guide Dogs Singapore comes from the desire to help make a difference to somebody else’s life

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