KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17, 2014:

Harsher punishment should be meted out to animal abusers and they should also be monitored to ensure similar offences do not take place, animal rights groups said today.

Malaysian Animal Rights Society president N. Surendran, while lauding the ruling made by the Petaling Jaya Jaya magistrate’s court in sentencing a dog abuser to 10 days jail today, said the sentence should have been harsher.

“I’m glad the abuser was punished with a jail sentence.

“This is something that is rarely done in animal abuse cases.

“However, I feel the prosecutors should appeal as 10 days is being too lenient,” the Padang Serai Member of Parliament told The Rakyat Post today.

The lawyer said the court had to send out a clear message as warning to those who abuse animals.
Echoing similar sentiments, Malaysian Animal Welfare Society president Shenaaz Khan said animal abuse should be given equal importance as child abuse cases.

“This is because we’re dealing with victims who are completely helpless,” she explained.
Aside from time in prison, Shenaaz suggested that the convict also be monitored to prevent a recurrence.

“Would you sentence a father for intentionally inflicting injuries to his child to 10 days jail?
“There should be at least six months of jail time.”

Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) president Anthony Siva Balan Thanasayan, on the other hand, described the judgment as a “landmark ruling”.

“I’m glad that the authorities are doing more than just fining the perpetrators.”

He lauded the Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR) group’s efforts in highlighting the issue.

“It is encouraging and this is a start of 10 days in hell for the guilty person,” Anthony said.

The man, in his 50s, was captured in a closed circuit television camera (CCTV) recording repeatedly kicking a dog at a laundry shop in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, on June 17.

The footage was later shared by MIAR on its Facebook page on June 20. The dog is now under MIAR’s care.