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 Dog Access
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:
Extract of Regulation 29(3), (13) of the Environmental Public Health (Food Hygiene) Regulations (Cap 95)
(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.
(13) In this regulation “Guide Dog” means a Dog that is specially trained to aid a particular blind or visually impaired person.
Extract of Regulation 8(1), (3) of the Rapid Transit Systems Regulations (Cap 263A)
(1) No person shall bring any animal or other livestock into or upon any part of the railway premises. (3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a Guide Dog accompanying any blind person.
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) and an advisory can be found on their 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…”