Nov 27, 2008, 1:45 AM
Post #1 of 2
27 November 2008 Star
Govt to Conduct Spot Check @ Pet Shop,Animal Pound,Vet. To Table in Parliament Penalties RM10k/6 Years Jail
Govt gets serious about fighting animal abuse
PUTRAJAYA: The Government will conduct surprise checks on pet shops, animal pounds and clinics. In addition Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abd Aziz Jamaluddin urged local councils to re-negotiate their contracts with dog catchers to ensure that animals caught were treated humanely.
“Most of the time, the dog catchers are only interested in the number of animals caught because they are paid by each dog, and the way these animals are then transported to the pound in a small van is inhumane.
“Sometimes, the dogs may have licences, or their collars can’t be seen clearly. The dogs are also put to sleep unsupervised by the department and it is done by people unqualified to handle the dangerous drug.
“We will call the problematic local councils to discuss this matter as well as have a dialogue with animal welfare groups. We will also make it a ruling that all euthanasia of stray animals must be under our supervision,” he told reporters at his office here on Wednesday.
Dr Abd Aziz said in the case of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) uniformed men beating a dog and forcing it out through the railings of a locked gate, which was higlighted by The Star newspaper recently, it had investigated the matter under the Animals Act and forwarded the evidence to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for a decision.
Other news on animal welfare and cruelty by dog catchers in the Klang Valley had also been reported.
“Unfortunately, there is not much evidence left because the dog has been treated and it was impossible to tell if the wounds on its head is caused by the dog catchers or from a scrape it had with other dogs,” said Dr Abd Aziz, adding that the department would nevertheless keep an eye out for further complaints of animal cruelty against the council.
The department, said Dr Abd Aziz, had already issued guidelines on catching stray dogs for local councils in May this year, which should be adhered to by all.
He said the department also hoped to table a proposal in Parliament next year to amend provisions under the Animals Act, seeking heavier penalties of up to RM10,000 or six years’ jail or both for animal cruelty, and a fine for people who abandoned their pets.
“Previously, the fine was only RM200 and there was no jail term. The proposed fine for abandonment will look into the intentions of pet owners to see if their animals got loose by themselves or ran away. Abandonment of pets is the main reason behind the huge number of strays,” he said.
The department received 57 complaints of animal cruelty and had taken enforcement action against 207 cases last year.
Dr Abd Aziz said it was time that Malaysians treated animals more humanely because “we are a maturing country.”
“Gone are the days when people can do whatever they like against animals because the department is taking a more proactive role,” he promised.
(This post was edited by melmel on Nov 27, 2008, 1:48 AM)