Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Bite The Dogs, Bite Owners

Don’t bite the dogs, bite owners

K Pragalath | April 19, 2011 (Free Malaysia Today)
It is irresponsible owners and not their pets who should be put on a leash by the authorities, says a local councillor.
PETALING JAYA: Local councillor Anthony Thanasayan has criticised the proposal to ban and restrict certain breeds of dogs.

Thanasayan, who also runs Petpositive, which trains dogs to aid the disabled and the elderly, said that the authorities were barking up the wrong tree.

“Banning dog breeds is not the answer. The dog is not a problem. Ban the owners who have been found irresponsible,” he said, adding that even the smallest breeds such as a Chihuahua could bite.
He also urged the Veterinary Services Department to scrap its banned breed list, which included the American Pit Bull, Argentinian Mastiff and Japanese Tosa.

He added that Pitbulls were also being used in a positive manner in other countries, such as to aid the disabled and elderly.

He reiterated that it was errant dog owners who should be punished. “Dog owners often leave their gates open,” he said.

Thanasayan, who heads the Canine Advisory Team committee in MBPJ, added that part of the blame lied with the local councils for not allowing dogs in public parks.

“The local council by-laws state that dogs can be at the parks as long as they are leashed and held by the owners. But local councils still prevent dogs in parks,” he said.

He also suggested that local councils be more strict in issuing dog licenses and to screen the prospective owners thoroughly.

Thansayan also suggested that the relevant departments conduct responsible pet ownership courses and publish booklets on the issue.

He was responding to the Veterinary Services Department’s proposal to have a a guidebook on banned and restricted breeds of dogs.

The department’s director-general Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin was quoted in a news report as stating that there were 12 banned and 13 restricted breeds.

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