|DATELINE: PETPOSITIVE THERAPY CENTRE, PETALING JAYA|
THE CITY OF IPOH is full of excitement and eager anticipation this morning.
Perhaps, no one more than pet-loving residents.
They are crossing their fingers (and even their toes!) in the hope to see that the practice of dog-shooting sees the final nail in the coffin once and for all.
The barbaric practice has been going on for as long as residents of Ipoh can recall.
Many of them say they had voiced their objections to the local council (MBI) that has been shooting dogs in an attempt to rid the streets of strays.
However, despite promises by the mayor to stop canine shooting, the practice has been going on.
However, on October 30th something happened that shocked the daylights out of almost everyone.
A senior therapy dog named Spunk belonging to an elderly resident was hunted and mercilessly shot down - despite being a licensed pet.
It was, as they say, the last straw that broke the camel's back.
PETPOSITIVE drummed up an army of protesters who inundated the MBI with condemnation over what they had done.
Even the Department of Veterinary Services was disgusted by what had happened.
So much so that they issued a ban on all dog-shooting in the country.
This morning, half a dozen animal welfare and rights groups together with NGOs that represent people with disabilities and the elderly are meeting up with MBI's secretary Datuk Hj Abdul Rahim b Mohd Ariff to call on the end of dog-shooting and the setting up of a proper pound for canines.
They also want the MBI to set up a canine concerns committee that will meet up at least once a month to look at workable and humane measures in dealing with strays.
This morning's group is led by Petpositive from Kuala Lumpur and Noah's Ark from Ipoh.
Other groups that will be participating are the SPCAs from Selangor and Ipoh, the Ipoh Animal Welfare Society and the Independent Living and Training Centre in Rawang, Selangor.
Please stay tuned to us on Twitter, Facebook (Petpositive Empowerment) and on Yahoo for the latest news from Ipoh.
(The meeting between the animal/disability groups and the Ipoh City Council is scheduled to take place at 11am. It will be followed by a press conference.)
Meanwhile, here are some Letters to the Editor that appeared in The Star yesterday:
Monday November 15, 2010
Don't behave like animals
I HAVE been following closely issues concerning animal welfare, particularly acts of cruelty to animals.
The recent killing of a licensed therapy dog by Ipoh City Hall enforcement officers is an inhumane act. The owner, a 75-year-old woman, who kept the dog as a companion, was mentally and emotionally devastated as a result of the killing.
Of late, Malaysia has been singled out for mention by international animal welfare organisations due to the ill-treatment of animals.
For example, the Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre based in London has given very negative comments on the way our local authorities as well as certain irresponsible and uncaring individuals treat the animals.
I applaud the NGOs and animal welfare activists who have been championing the cause of animal welfare and working hard to draw the Government's attention to amend the archaic Animal Act (1953).
I understand the feelings by these activists because I have several pets in my home whom I regard as members of my family and I wish to associate myself with the numerous calls to the Government to introduce amendments to the Animal Act 1953 (2006 Amendment) without delay.
This would provide for deterrent punishment against those involved in acts of cruelty and abuse to animals as well as to enhance animal welfare. Poor enforcement of an archaic law by the authority concerned is largely responsible for the rise in animal cruelty cases.
Besides seeking urgent amendments to the Animal Act, more can be and should be done to educate the public on animal welfare and pet ownership so that they fully understand their responsibilities and help minimise acts of abuse and cruelty to animals.
The state governments and local authorities have n important role to play in animal welfare by providing land to be used as animal sanctuaries, where captured strays could be homed and looked after.
Municipal dog shelters must also improve the deplorable conditions in which the dogs are kept. Catching strays must be done humanely and not in a manner that depicts cruelty. Animal welfare organisations should get their elected representatives to raise such issues in Parliament. The authority concerned had several years ago spoken of the need to amend the Animal Act 1953 and other related laws but nothing substantial had been done thus far.
The Veterinary Services Department, which is the custodian of animal welfare, should brief the Minister concerned on the urgent need to monitor animal welfare issues and introduce relevant provisions to minimise acts of animal cruelty and abuse.
The animals that share our planet are part of us. It is our moral duty to protect them from harm and abuse. On animal welfare, Mahatma Gandhi once said: "The greatness of a nation can be seen by the way it treats its animals."
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE,
Monday November 15, 2010
Walk the dog but scoop the poop
DOG owners in housing estates must act responsibly. Almost every evening, we see owners taking their dogs for walks. This is good, not only for the dogs but also for the owners.
However, when these dogs do their business in front of their neighbour's house, it is not good for anyone.
Many of us plant trees outside our compounds to beautify the area but when irresponsible dog owners allow their dogs to soil the landscape, then it makes our blood boil.
In most civilised societies, dog owners carry a small scoop, gloves and a plastic bag to clean after their dogs. Why can't Malaysia have that ruling, too?
My message to all dog owners: Being sensitive towards other religions. That's what 1Malaysia is all about.