Public can soon view the drafted bill that aims to provide better protection for animals from abuse and abandonment.
Concerns poured out for animal welfare in Malaysia is continuously growing, with NGOs and animal lovers actively working hand-in-hand to help abandoned pets find home, rescue those who have been abused, also bringing animal cruelty to the sight of the press. However, there is a huge concern over the lack of strict law in Malaysia to put a stop to animal abuse in all forms.
In 2009, 657 animal abuse cases were reported but none of them were prosecuted (Source: SPCA). The prayers of numerous campaigns, criticisms, and petitions are going to be answered pretty soon – because Animal Welfare Bill in Malaysia will be up for public viewing in this near future. In addition to that, the government is coming up with guidelines concerning pets-arranged activities including pet hotels and pet training centres. Veterinary Services Department will also develop accreditation system for pet shops and breeding centres.
The Animal Welfare Bill is now in its drafting process since it was first initiated last year. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said the upcoming Animal Welfare Bill will be able to protect both domestic animals and livestock better than the aged Animal Act. Malaysian NGOs are involved in the process as they are regarded as the ones who deals on a first-hand basis with animal cruelty.
The Animal Act 1953 (amended in 2006) is up for relevant amendments too; among the proposed reformations are fine up to RM50,000 and jail term up to 1 year for animal abuse. The current punishment which sees abuser fined a mere amount of RM200 (maximum) and a jail term of 6 months is seen as too lenient to stop abusers from violating animals.
Malaysians have long been waiting for the amendments to be made for years, and throughout the period we have seen numerous abuse cases; namely open shooting by Penang & Johor Municipal Councils, the hot water pouring tragedy in Seksyen17, and recently – the poison shooting of stray dogs in Kota Kinabalu.
Such phenomena calls for everyone in the country to have the same understanding that animal abuse in any form is just as severe as human abuse. The law needs to be pressing and not give any leeway to abusers, alongside full participation from the society. Until then, let’s do our part to ensure animal welfare in Malaysia!