MALAYSIA IS ALL THE MORE CLOSER NOW THAN SHE EVER WAS BEFORE IN HAVING HER FIRST ANIMAL WELFARE ACT.
THE MOVE WILL PUT THE NATION IN PAR WITH MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD AND IN THE REGION THAT ALREADY HAVE LAWS TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF ANIMALS.
This was confirmed after the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) held its first protem committee meeting at its headquarters here earlier this afternoon.
The committee is being called the Animal Welfare Advisory Council or AWAC.
Once officially formalised, the group is expected to give increased powers to the DVS in order to take effective action against acts of animal cruelty all over the country.
More than half a dozen nongovernmental organisations were present for the very first meeting of its kind.
They included PETPOSITIVE from Kuala Lumpur, SPCA Selangor and Noah's Ark of Ipoh and Johor as well as Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) from Penang.
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"This gives us a much-needed mandate that will eventually lead to an animal welfare bill in Parliament," he added.
Dr Aziz, who mooted the idea of AWAC, was delighted with the room filled with animal activists of more than 30 people.
He fielded many questions and comments from them during an almost three-hour session.
These also included some direct criticisms against the DVS.
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According to Dr Aziz, the next crucial step for AWAC is to get the new committee members endorsed by the Cabinet.
This will be done as soon as possible, he promised.
Once that is out of the way, AWAC will feverishly start working on the all-important Animal Bill in order to present it for the next Parliamentary sitting in 2011.
He said with everyone working together, Malaysia could very well have an Animal Act by the start of 2012 or even earlier!
AWAC will cover five issues under subcommittees.
They are pet animal companions; sports and recreational animals; animals related to food; animals in research and laboratories and wild animals.
Whilst everyone were in high spirits at the meeting, some animal NGOs decided to take a more cautious approach to the news.
SAM was all thumbs up for the first meeting but told PET+BLOGSPOT that they preferred to take a "wait-and-see approach" before saying anything more.
However for Noah's Ark Ipoh, it was good news all the way.
A representative said that she just couldn't wait for AWAC to get started.
PET+BLOGSPOT is the ONLINE BLOG of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive). Our reports and stories are CURRENT, ACCURATE and RELIABLE. We offer both local and foreign news on animals, disability and the elderly. PET+BLOGSPOT was first established in October 2007. Our hits since then is now 70,000 and going strong! PET+BLOGSPOT is updated daily. Sometimes even twice or three times a day. Kindly take note that views expressed in this blog are not necessarily those of PETPOSITIVE. You may also visit our Webpage by browsing: www.petpositive.com.my You can also find us in Facebook as PETPOSITIVE EMPOWERMENT. Please sign up as a FOLLOWER of this Blog if you haven't done so already in order to show us your kind support. Thank you!