KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12, 2014:
There should be modules included into the education system to educate young Malaysians on how to treat animals, according to a pet-friendly non-governmental organisation (NGO) and an animal rescuer.
With a string of videos uploaded on Facebook in recent days depicting pets being tortured and abused, Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) president Anthony Siva Balan Thanasayan has urged authorities to bolster awareness on how to treat animals.
“This is happening too often. What used to be adults abusing pets has now influenced children as well,” he said, citing the recent case of a 14-year-old boy who was seen in a video swinging and tossing a puppy, after which it is believed to have died.
He added more families should encourage their children to grow up together with pets as children would learn to be compassionate and responsible when they grow older.
“Families should also take their children to animal shelters for volunteer work so that these children would learn how to be better human beings,” Anthony said to The Rakyat Post.
He explained those who abused animals felt a sense of power and if children were not reprimanded or counselled against doing such things, they could grow up to become violent.
Anthony stressed that there should be coordination among the authorities handling such cases.
“In the case of the 14-year-old boy, the Malaysian Veterinary Services Department (DVS), the police, animal groups along with the Welfare Department should be involved in solving it by providing counselling services,” he said, adding that the boy needed guidance but did not rule out punishment.
The boy’s action is a criminal offence under Section 429 of the Penal Code for mischief committed by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless any animal of the value of RM5 or upwards.
“He can become a good animal defender or even a veterinarian if he is guided well,” Anthony said.
He called on the DVS to set up a hotline to enable Malaysians to lodge complaints should they witness incidents of animal abuse.
He also advised animal lovers to remain calm and not hurl abuses at the boy.
The video which was shared on the Facebook page of Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better has since incurred the wrath of many, with netizens calling for action to be taken against the boy.
Animal rescuer, Banu Jothimalarr said the reason the boy resorted to such an act was to seek attention and gain fame.
“One of the ways to end such incidences is to lodge a report with the authorities instead of sharing videos.
“It is a push and pull factor between the society and individuals, with the public continuously watching and sharing such videos, inadvertently grabbing their attention.
“I believe he got egged on to do the act. Why didn’t they apprehend the person who took the video as well?” she questioned.
Banu then advised the public not to share such videos and instead lodge a police report or notify CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM).
CSM can be reached at 1-300-88-2999 during office hours.