Thursday, May 12, 2011

Local Council Dares Animal Groups To Solve Stray Woes

Stray dogs: Town seeks animal lovers’ help

Tarani Palani | May 11, 2011
The Batu Pahat Municipal Council reacts to criticism of its dog catching method.
PETALING JAYA: The Batu Pahat Municipal Council today invited animal lovers to help it clear the streets of stray dogs.

According to council president Sallehuddin Hassan, Batu Pahat’s stray dog problem is so bad that dog catching has had to be outsourced; the council lacks the manpower to handle all the complaints it receives.

“Right now, we are paying contractors RM40 for a stray dog,” he told FMT. “So if animal lovers can come up with a better method, I welcome them. Come and see us. They can’t just complain.”

The council considers even a licensed dog a stray if it is found outside the premises of its owner.
Sallehuddin was responding to criticism that dog catchers in Batu Pahat did their job with cruelty. The criticisms came after the posting of a YouTube video showing dog catchers in action.

The clip is also making the rounds of Facebook, but was removed from YouTube after it was flagged as inappropriate.

Sallehuddin said most of the complaints that the council received about stray dogs were about the noise they made and the aggression some of them displayed.

“If we don’t take appropriate action, the public will be mad at us,” he said.

Asked if he thought catching dogs with a snare and putting them down with an injection was inhuman and violent, he said: “That is the method. Whether it is violent or not, that is subjective and up to the perspectives of individuals.”

The Malaysian Animal Welfare Society has decried the incident shown in the video.

“The continued barbarism displayed by many councils is a blatant product of the government’s inhuman and callous attitude toward animals,” it said in a statement.

It asked the Department of Veterinary Services and the police to use the law against the council, which it described as “ruthless”.

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1 comment:

Adelene Wee said...

Dog catching is not a task that any Tom, Dick and Harry can do. It requires training to ensure that the task is completely humanely without causing any distress to the animal. Subduing and torturing the animal to its death IS NOT the way.

If the council can demonstrate some form of competence in tackling this issue I don't think any animal lover (in the right mind) would have anything to complain about. As an animal lover, we care about the welfare of animals AND the people handling these animals be it owners or general public. Our duty is to ensure that society is not misinformed and when necessary advise on precautionary measures regarding anything animal-related.

I completely disgree with the council's comment about a licensed dog considered a stray if found outside owner's premises. What is the point of paying for licenses if they do not serve their purpose? These licenses are also identification tags which enable lost dogs to be traced back to their owners through the council's records. If a licensed dog is found roaming outside and caught, a 1st warning should be issued followed by fines if they are repeated offenders. Sometimes, the dog might not have a license but a microchipping device as well.

Having said that, I do agree with the council's plea for assistance. Perhaps, all animal advocates should pull their resources to establish a dog-catching protocol for quality assurance and submit it to the council followed by periodic checks by certified vets/ animal organisations etc.

In the end of the day, it all comes down to hiring the RIGHT candidate to perform the job. Just because it's an animal it doesn't mean that we should not give our best.