Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Petpositive With Animal Activists For End To Animal Cruelty

PETALING JAYA: Animal activists and pet owners hope that the Government will amend the Animal Act to provide harsher penalties to those found guilty of cruelty towards animals.

Independent animal activist S. Daniya, 30, said she was dumbfounded by how acts of cruelty towards animals could just be shrugged off as unimportant.

“Animal cruelty is becoming more and more frequent with videos of acts such as the abuse of a poodle being shared rampantly on Facebook,” she said.
No to animal cruelty: Animal activists and pet owners gathering outside the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters to hold a peaceful demonstration on Saturday. The group hopes that the law will be amended to punish those who abuse animals.

Daniya said the Act currently only provided a maximum fine of RM200 or jail time of not more than six months.

“It's about time for the Act to be amended to provide a fine of at least RM10,000 which will be a bigger deterrent and make people think twice before they abuse animals,” she said.

Daniya was among a group of 10 people who gathered outside the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters on Saturday to protest against the killing of a dog by the Batu Pahat Municipal Council in full view of residents of a housing area there.

She also lodged a police report over the killing. The case has been referred to the Batu Pahat Police for further action.

Pet lover and volunteer P. Ramin, 35, condemned the actions of the municipal council in killing the dog in public.

“They (municipal council workers) should have caught the dog, kept it for a few weeks and tried to ascertain if it was a stray or belonged to a family in the area.

“They just can't go around killing dogs in housing areas. It would have been traumatising if a child had witnessed it,” he said.

Activist Puspa Rani, in her 30s, said municipal workers should not overstep their authority in catching of strays.

Batu Pahat CID chief Deputy Supt Che Mahazan Che Aik confirmed that police had received the report.
“We are aware of the report and will investigate the matter,” he said.

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Anonymous said...

Who's Accountable?

The stray animal problems in Malaysia is as bad as in many other countries. The question is who is accountable for the ever increasing population of strays in this country? The councils are "tasked" to help solve the problem but have done so quite shabbily and often inhumanely by using improper methods to do so. Some or most animal groups and their supporters on the hand, are ever ready to attack the councils when they treat strays inhumanely or when something bad goes wrong but offer very little help or advise on how they should be doing it instead. But who is accountable for the stray animal population in the first place?

Let's look at a neighboring island in Indonesia which is almost the size of Negeri Sembilan. Traditionally, the vast majority of people keep dogs as companions, for safety and so forth. These "companions" are left to breed uncontrollably and are allowed to ROAM FREELY by the Balinese people. In the end, the population of dogs in the island of Bali today is estimated by experts at 500,000!!!

In late December 2008, when the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture reported to the World Health Organization on a Rabies Outbreak, various humane and inhumane steps were taken to counter this. Today, even after all the effort of dog vaccinations, trap neuter and release programs, catching and putting to sleep, dog shooting and yes, even poisoning, the problems seem to have escalated with more than half the people who come in for rabies screening and vaccination tested positive with rabies. The official reported human death toll has risen to 120 since February 2011 and the figures are expected to rise. What about cases that were unreported? By the way, there are also animal activists and their supporters based in Bali that attack the Indonesian government departments for using inhumane methods to "destroy" strays but little can be done about it, looking at the situation faced there. The TNRM method employed by animal groups there looks to be failing because they cannot catch enough strays to make a significant "dent" in the population and worst still because TNRM'ed dogs need to be re - vaccinated yearly it is even more difficult to recapture them once released.

Coming back to Malaysia, we are indeed lucky that we don't have a rabies here other than the very few isolated cases north of Peninsular Malaysia bordering another neighbor Thailand but sadly enough, we do have a rather large stray population which if left unchecked could become a reservoir for all sorts of zoonotic disease. So who is accountable for the strays in the first place? The answer is simple! WE are the MAIN CAUSE of the problem.

Irresponsible owners let their out to roam freely and reproduce, during an economic recession these owners abandon these pets which again, leaves them free to reproduce, owners that do not practice pet sterilization, dump them in places where food is abundant, repeating the process of reproduction again..... the list goes on and on. On top of all that, many dog lovers and owners, despite supporting animal groups fail to vaccinate their animals or even license their dogs but complain endlessly when a council catches their pet. Animal Welfare Organizations like the SPCA's and PAWS for example always stress and educate on Responsible Pet Ownership. But I think they should change it to Accountable and Responsible Pet Ownership because not only pet owners should be responsible when it comes to owning a pet BUT BE ACCOUNTABLE when they fail to do so!

Anonymous said...

Pet Responsibility – Who Do We Look Up To?

I love my dogs! In fact there never was a time in my life that I never had a pet dog by my side. Truth to tell, I am a product of dog lovers with the exception of my dad who was more into fishes and birds. Going back in time, I remember that my designated chore was to bath the dogs every Sunday, take them out for daily walks and feed them every evening. My sister got the final dog related task which was to clean their poop! Lucky me! And every year, my mum would arrange to bring the dogs to the vet for their daily check up and vaccinations. That was how we were taught to be responsible with our pets.

When our dogs barked, sometimes at god knows what, my mum would go outside every single time and be stern with the dogs. Soon, my dogs would only bark when they see a stranger walking past my house. She also made sure that our dogs could not leave the house compound at all by making sure there were no gaps in our outer fencing, I can also recall my dad queuing at the post office every year to buy licenses for our dogs. These were the lessons we learnt from our parents on how to be responsible pet owners and these are the lessons and habits I hope I will pass down to my kids, although I now only bath my dogs once every two weeks.

Which brings to my question, who is responsible in teaching the young today about pet responsibility? I noticed that parents today do not instil these values in their children. In fact sometimes the parents are to blame for being irresponsible themselves citing excuses like a busy schedules and so on.

Luckily there are animal welfare organizations who strive to educate the young ones through campaigns and programs alike. The young today tend to look up to these animal welfare organizations. Unfortunately, there are also “rogue” animal welfare groups who gush out vulgarities whenever there’s an opportunity and confuse our young with nonsense in regards to being responsible pet owners.

In an article published today for example, an animal group made a statement that pets mostly end up in council pounds because the council dog catchers do their work after 5 p.m. when their owners come back from work and open their gates. The article was all about anger towards the councils for animal abuses throughout the country. That particular statement was at the bottom of the article. Does anyone see a problem here? Does it seem like they are saying that the councils should not be catching dogs that roam outside of their respective owner’s houses? A quick check in their website or facebook site will confirm this to be true. Statements like this, even in anger, could very well make the stray population in this country worst rather than help reduce it! Is this a good example of trying to instil pet responsibility in people? Shouldn’t they be asking pet owners to be more careful and responsible instead? Shouldn’t they be saying that it is wrong to intentionally let your dogs out without a leash? Are these the people our young should look up to?

I hate the council dog catchers as much as anyone else because of the cruel methods they employ to catch dogs but unfortunately we need them to help curb the stray population in this country. People should be more responsible with their pets especially if they don’t want to lose their pets or worse yet, have their pets caught by the council dogcatchers!