I DON'T GET IT!
It was reported in the newspapers yesterday that a meeting with our Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung from the Housing and Local Government and local animal rights and welfare groups resulted in the decision that a guideline would be sent to all local councils in the country to treat stray animals humanely.
This was spelt out clearly: catch them, keep them for seven days and then, put them to sleep.
And strictly NO BULLETS!
Excuse me, please, but save for the bullets part, which only some local councils (PBTs) employ, everything else is virtually the same!
In effect all that seemed to really happen at this "giant step for animal kind" meeting (wrote SPCA Selangor - one of NGOs present - in their Facebook) was merely a reminder of sorts to the PBTs to follow exactly "what you guys were told before by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS)".
Does this mean that the PBTs will have to lay down their arms immediately?
They should; but some of them will probably not because this is only a "reminder" and not a "commandment" carved out in stone.
Chances are, as it is the very sad case often in our country, all this will be forgotten in due time.
With the steady increase of strays because of the lack of neuter and educational programmes, the councils will be left with "no choice" but to shoot dogs again.
After all, it was only a "reminder" or an "advisory" rather than a downright order.
Hey, I am not against Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye's efforts or the Minister.
They did good - and so did the animal NGOs - even if they were pretty mean and immature to leave PETPOSITIVE out of the meeting by not informing us or inviting us.
But we all know how incredibly narrow minded some of the heads behind these groups can be, don't we?
Petpositive certainly learnt it out the hard way. (Ouch!)
And with what had transpired, we should probably send them a "Thank You" card for not inviting us - or else we would have unnecessarily have had to struggle out with our wheelchair or white cane to a meeting that wasn't going to tackle the real issues.
Keep dogs for seven days before killing them kindly. Yeah, right: if you have a pound and money in the council to build and manage it.
Otherwise, councils would have to resort to cruel measures such as storing them in a warehouse or the backyard where evil abounds.
Back to the meeting, what I'm saying is we will need more muscle to start getting our society to start treating animals with some respect.
The only real change that I can see that promises to make a big difference is with the DVS.
It is in the form of an animal welfare act bill scheduled to come out sometime after July next year.
Funnily enough there is not a single mention about trapping, neutering, releasing and managing (TNRM) strays in the environment.
Another group MDDB which was also present at the meeting in their Facebook describing the meeting as "good" claimed they had proposed for TNRM to be implemented and that even the DVS supported them.
Not a peep, however, was mentioned in both the newspaper reports.
Could that mean that none of the big shots present or the media were impressed by their suggestion?
Not only that, the MDDB, which is currently being investigated by the police for publishing criminal intimidation remarks against a Petaling Jaya city councillor (see here) was totally sidelined in the report.
The papers only mentioned the SPCA and the DVS with regard to entities with some authority and credibility.
Finally both the SPCA and MDDB claim they support a "no-kill" policy.
However, the reports about the meeting interestingly seem to only re-emphasise and give credence to the role of euthanasia as a means of destroying strays.
At least one organisation My Animal Care seem to be more consistent and not hypocritical about their position about having a no-kill policy.
From what I've heard, they refused to sign the petition to the Prime Minister because of their opposition to euthanasia.
My final say is: Go back to the local councils for dialogue if you want change.
Tuesday June 21, 2011
‘Circular on humane guidelines to be sent as reminder’
By NG CHENG YEE
KUALA LUMPUR: All local councils will be reminded to follow the Veterinary Department's humane guidelines on the catching and disposal of stray dogs to ensure that they are not treated cruelly, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung.
He said a circular would be sent to local councils to remind them that the rounding up of stray dogs must be done according to humane methods.
“After rounding up the dogs, they must take them back and keep them in areas under the care of local councils for seven days.
“If owners don't claim the dogs, the local councils will be at liberty to put the animals to sleep using injections and not bullets,” he said after meeting representatives of six animal welfare non-governmental organisations (NGOs) here yesterday.
He said if local councils had problems dealing with stray dogs, they could contact the Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (SPCA) or the Veterinary Depart-ment.
Chor said the ministry was also in the process of updating the by-laws on pet ownership.
“It will include the registration of dogs and the use of dog tags,” he said, adding that the minis- try would also encourage the spa- ying of animals as a way to reduce strays.
He said he would also join the SPCA in its efforts to increase the awareness on cruelty against animals.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who is the adviser for the NGOs, said dog catchers from different local au-thorities had different practices in capturing stray dogs and that some “had in-flicted a lot of harm and cruelty.”
He said the NGOs also presented a multi-pronged humane method at the meeting to assist the Government and ensure that the processes of capturing, housing and euthanasing were carried out without cruelty.
Stricter rules for handling strays
KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to prevent animal abuse, local authorities will soon have to follow stricter guidelines when handling stray animals, particularly dogs.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the ministry would be enforcing guidelines from the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) on catching and exterminating stray dogs.
He was speaking at a press conference after meeting representatives of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Selangor and several other NGOs to discuss stray dog management and strategies to reduce the stray dog population.
The guidelines state that stray animals which are caught must be transported to a nearby pound where they should be kept for seven days.
If the animal has not been claimed within the period, it should then be put down through euthanasia, which is considered a more humane method of controlling stray animal populations.
He also urged pet owners to spay or neuter their pets.
Chor said the ministry would look into amending bylaws under the Local Government Act 1972 for the licensing of dogs and establishment of kennels.
In 2008, a directive banning the shooting of stray animals was issued by the VSD at state level, but has largely been ignored.
Selangor SPCA chairman Christine Chin said in the past year, up to 80 complaints had been lodged against local authorities which were reported to use brute force when dealing with animals.
"Animal abuse can only be stopped if the government steps in and takes the lead," she said.
Those who wish to show their support against animal cruelty can sign the online petition at http://StopAnimalAbuse.my.
PET+BLOGSPOT is the ONLINE BLOG of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association or Petpositive. Our stories are CURRENT, ACCURATE and RELIABLE. We offer both local and foreign news on animals, disability and the elderly. PET+BLOGSPOT was first established in October 2007. Our hits since then are now 150,000 and ever increasing! PET+BLOGSPOT is updated daily. Kindly note that views expressed in PET+BLOGSPOT are not necessarily those of PETPOSITIVE. You may also visit our Webpage by browsing: www.petpositive.com.my You can also find us in Facebook under PETPOSITIVE EMPOWERMENT. Please sign up as a FOLLOWER of this Blog if you haven't done so already in order to show us your kind support for our work. Thank you!