Saturday, April 16, 2011

Banned Dogs List - Case Of DVS And MPSJ Barking Up The Wrong Tree


A COUPLE OF REPORTS in The Star this week have raised the heckles of animal lovers and left them confused at the same time.

They were about the attempts by the Department of Veterinary Services in Selangor and the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to crack down on puppy mills by banning seven breeds of dogs in the municipality. (See reports below).

Their objectives and actions - if true - have made us in PETPOSITIVE to seriously wonder if both the DVS and the MPSJ really know what they are talking about.

If the reports are accurate, then its certainly a case where the two entities are barking up the wrong tree!

PETPOSITIVE maintains what we have said all these while that there are no bad dogs; only bad owners (and breeders).

All dogs are capable of biting and misbehaving - not just pit bulls and those in the banned list.

And it is ludicrous to stop puppy mills in the country by attacking the "banned list breeds" when the dogs who really suffer in Malaysia are the common breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers and numerous other popular breeds.   

PET+BLOGSPOT meanwhile has spoken to a source at the MPSJ who said that their statement to the press was misquoted.

Among other points, the spokesperson claimed that MPSJ has no plans to confiscate pet dogs from owners' houses - something they say they have never done in their history.

PETPOSITIVE calls for the DVS to immediately scrap the list of a "banned dogs list" and promote education programmes on responsible pet ownership with local councils in Malaysia.

Tough action should be taken against puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders who are only interested in profit than on animal health and welfare. 


Stay tuned for more on this issue. 

Thursday April 14, 2011

Pit bull among seven breeds banned in Subang Jaya

SEVEN dog breeds — Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanesa Tosa and American Pit bull — are set to vanish from households in Subang Jaya soon.

The dogs classified under the “big” category are predisposed to aggressive or dangerous behaviour. The council is enforcing a directive from the Selangor Veterinary Department, according to which the dogs are “unmanageable or possibly dangerous”.

MPSJ director Dr Roslan Mohamed Hussin said the ban was with immediate effect.

He said the council had begun operations to check residential areas in the township for such dog breeds. They have even given out brochures with regard to the ban.
“Our officers who scout around the neighbourhoods have been advised to look out for such dog breeds. Once we have ascertained that a dog is from the banned list, we would inform the Veterinary Department, which would confiscate the dog and take the necessary action,” he said.

Dr Roslan said no dog from among the banned breeds had been found yet.

He believes that people could be raising these dogs behind high fences so that the canines would not be easily spotted from outside.

“Our Health Department does not have any record of those having such dogs because the owners might not have taken a licence for their canines. At present, we have 4,000 registered dogs but based on our observation the actual population of dogs in Subang Jaya homes could be around 6,000,” he said.

Dr Roslan believed the ban on the seven breeds was to prevent attacks on people.

“It is being done to ensure the safety of the people as these dogs could be aggressive. Even a small dog can bite and some homes have Rottweillers. These dogs should be put on a leash when taken out for walks,” he said.

On Jan 8, Maurice Sullivan, 50, died after he was mauled by two dogs at a farm in Penang while he was taking photos at an organic orchard.

In November 2003, a Rottweiler attacked M. Devaraj, 10, in Island Glades, Penang. He was seriously injured. Also, in November 2001, a neighbour’s pet mongrel bit a nine-year-old South Korean boy Lee Han-eul in Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur. The boy sustained 15 wounds on his right arm and chest that needed several stitches.

In 1994, a three-year-old Rottweiler named LeRoq, mauled a grandmother Neoh Kim Lean to death.
The 70-year-old woman, who lived in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, died on the way to the Universiti Hospital. Part of her scalp and an ear was bitten off.

Dr Roslan added that MPSJ received 2,287 complaints from January to November last year, out of which 1,506 were dog-related complaints.

“The complaints were mostly related to safety — where owners fail to put their dogs on a leash while taking them out for walks. Others include incessant barking, not cleaning up dog excrement, no dog licence and leaving their dogs outside the homes without supervision,” he said.

He added that the council had acted on the complaints and 148 compounds were issued during that period.

Dog owners were slapped with a maximum fine of RM1,000 under the Licensing of Dogs and Kennel Establishments By-laws 2007 under the Local Government Act 1976 for not having a licence for dogs above three months old, for not abiding sanitary requirements in keeping dogs, keeping dogs in apartments and failure to immunise the canines.

Dr Roslan said MPSJ also restricted dog owners from bringing their dogs for a walk in public places, shopping complexes, religious places, all government and private offices, government and private schools and on public transport.

MPSJ has distributed brochures to Subang Jaya residents with a warning that the council has the right to impound or confiscate dogs that are taken to public places.

“Our operations on dogs are ongoing and our men will confiscate dogs found roaming without a leash and muzzle, with or without a licence. No prior notice will be issued and the onus is on the owners to keep their dogs on a leash,” he said.

Paws Animal Welfare Society Malaysia rescuer Molly Brown said the state veterinary department and MPSJ should rethink its action of wanting to confiscate dogs from the seven breeds from their owners based on their aggressive predisposition.

“Even people are aggressive and bite but we must see what leads to such tendencies. Little dogs like Shihtzu or Maltese are aggressive and can bite but this could be due to inbreeding or ill treatment while it was a pup. So, the authorities cannot just take away a dog,” she said.

Brown added that a Pit Bull, Rottweiler or even a Akita can be lovely pets if they are given love while a pup and not traumatised in its surroundings.

“Big dogs need good care, must come from a good gene line and trained to be sociable, so they are familiar with the people and its surroundings.

“The Selangor Veterinary Department and MPSJ should just get the owners to neuter the existing dog breeds as it is unfair to confiscate the animals,” she said.

Friday April 15, 2011

Ban on dog breeds to crack down on cruel mills

THE ban on the seven dog breeds being enforced throughout Selangor is aimed at cracking down on puppy mills that are believed to be concentrated in the Klang Valley.

Puppy mills are where breeding dogs are kept in wire cages for at least six years to produce puppies.

They are sub-standard mass breeding operations. Animal rights groups have voiced concerns over the issue of disease and overcrowding.
Going all out: Dr Abdul Latif (left) and chief enforcement officer Subramaniam Ellapan discussing the strict enforcement to ban seven breeds of dogs in Selangor.

Selangor Veterinary Services Department director Dr Abdul Latif Borhan said the crackdown was needed as illegal breeders were pushing the sale of certain banned canines via the Internet.

“Canines are bred for quick cash, as the business is lucrative and these animals are not treated as pets. Our aim of getting the local authorities to enforce the ban in Selangor is to crush the illegal puppy mills that are raising the seven banned breeds,” he said.

The seven breeds are Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanesa Tosa and American Pit Bull.

Dr Abdul Latif advised the public not to misconstrue the department’s action.

“We are doing what is best for the dogs — to stop the abuse against man’s best friend. We want to put these unscrupulous breeders out of business.

“We are concerned about cruelty to the animal. We are also worried over the diseases that these animals would have contracted due to poor breeding conditions. We have the Animal Act 1953 (Act 647) to investigate or take action against those who are cruel to animals,” he said.

The Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) has taken the lead where its officers have begun scouting around for the banned breeds and refer them to the Veterinary Department, which would then confiscate the dogs.

Dr Abdul Latif confirmed that his department would confiscate the banned breeds.

“Yes, the seven breeds are banned. No one is allowed to raise such breeds. Once we confiscate the dog, the owner must coorporate with us in the investigations to ascertain the origins of the dog,” he said.
However, Dr Abdul Latif was tight-lipped when asked what would happen to the confiscated dogs.
As at press time, MPSJ confirmed that no dogs from among the banned breeds have been found or caught in Subang Jaya.

MPSJ Health director Dr Roslan Mohamed Hussin said his department did not have any record of those keeping the banned breeds because the owners might not have taken a licence for their canines.
On Wednesday, Dr Roslan said there were 4,000 licensed dogs but based on the council’s observation the actual population of dogs in Subang Jaya could be around 6,000.

Dr Abdul Latif said the crackdown on puppy mills and the enforcment of the ban on the seven breeds was in line with the ongoing drafting of the Animal Welfare Bill in Putrajaya under a task force made up of state regulators, breeders, animal rights groups and local councils.

“When the Bill comes into force in mid-2012, we could see significant changes that give emphasis to better animal care. Currently we are getting the private veterinary clinics to register with us so that we can monitor the situation in the state,” he said.

Dr Abdul Latif encourages the public to call the department at 03-5510 3900 to lodge complaints if they suspect animal cruelty or puppy mills existing in their neighbourbood.

Paws Animal Welfare Society Malaysia rescuer Molly Brown said she supported the move by the Veterinary Department for cracking down on puppy mills.

“It is good that the department wants to curb illegal breeding carried out in adverse conditions. The department should not resort to taking people’s pets away — whether they are banned or not. They have to let us or the owners know what would happen to the animal,” she said.

Brown added that the department should not euthanise people’s pets just because “they have suddenly decided to enforce the ban as it would be unfair to the pet owners.”

“I would suggest that they get the pet owners to neuter the dogs to ensure that they are not used for breeding purposes,” she said.

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JD said...

How do MPSJ differentiate an American PitBull and a Stafordshire terrior. Japanese Tosa looks like a common mongrel. Akita look like an overgrown Spitz. By DNA? Those dogs are bred for fighting. Most fighting dogs are very human friendly and only aggressive towards other dogs. MPSJ should promote responsible animal(dogs & cats) ownership rather then just finding the easy way out by just banning. Educate owners on the type of animal they want to keep as pets.

Ray Ganesh said...

I agree on whatever JD has mentioned...there should be more campaigns on responsible owners! ** would like to remind everyone that a cat's bite and scratch is far worst than what a small breed dog could do! how about banning or confiscating the cats? also nuisance to others (pooping in peoples resident!?)