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Malaysia - Revise Act to put a stop to animal cruelty

May 17, 2011 - The Star
Group: Revise Act to put a stop 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.


Organic farm owner fights to save his pitbulls - The Star
Hawkeye http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/author/hawkeye/
May 22, 2011

Two of his dogs fatally mauled Irish tourist Maurice Sullivan earlier this year but Joseph Teoh is hopeful that the animals are not put to sleep.

<http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/joseph-teoh-organic-farm-pitbull-owner.jpg

GEORGETOWN: The saying that dogs are man's best friend is becoming remarkably meaningful for an organic farm owner here who is now waging a campaign tosave the lives of his four pet pitbulls.

The odds are stacked against him as a Magistrate's Court here has ordered that the four canines be put down, but their owner Joseph Teoh has yet to give up his personal crusade to uphold what he terms as animal rights.

The breed of pitbulls are mostly not allowed by most local authorities who govern the issue of licensing.

Malaysians are mostly preoccupied over the issues of human rights, so it is unique to observe how animal rights are handled in the country.

Teoh has initiated an online petition to save the lives of at least two out of the four pitbulls from being injected with an insulin which ends their doggie lives in Balik Pulau.

He is also seeking out social-conscious lawyers to file an emergency injunction in the High Court to set aside an earlier court order, pending a judicial review of the case.

'I was put off by the expensive fees quoted by certain lawyers here. Nonetheless, I will shoulder on. If I have to represent myself, I will. Dogs have rights too,' said Teoh, a former bank officer.

This story began nine days into the New Year when two of the pit bulls were found by the police, the veterinary authorities and finally the court to have fatally mauled Irish tourist Maurice Sullivan who had days earlier requested to work as a volunteer on Teoh's farm.

The farm which cultivates organic fruits and vegetables, is the brainchild of the 42-year-old Teoh and his wife Teoh Bee Eng.

He uses terrier-breed dogs to guard the farm from dangerous trespassers such as snakes, monkeys and wild boar.

Two of the dogs were loitering unchained at the farm while another two were encaged in a kennel during the alleged incident.

*Fined by the court
*
Police investigators compounded the first two alleged killer canines while the other two were also surrendered by Teoh later upon request by the cops.

The dogs were then found to be dangerous after a post mortem report indicated that the unfortunate victim was bitten and mauled based on the bite marks.

Teoh admits that he was at fault for ignoring the tagging of the dogs and for not licensing them, as both issues had escaped his mind but he is insisting that not all dogs should be put down.

'Putting down four dogs is illogical. Does this mean that when a murderer is found guilty, his entire family must also be sentenced to death? Animals have rights even if they cannot speak.'

On April 4, Teoh and his wife were each fined RM4,000 in default of three months' jail each when they pleaded guilty to owning the four dogs without collars and licences.

The duo who were unrepresented, admitted to committing the offence on Jan 9 at around 10.35am in the orchard farm at Balik Pulau. Teoh has since obtained licences for the four dogs.

He said that he pleaded guilty as he was given an impression from the authorities that he can appeal the decision to put down the dogs.

*Temporary respite
*
Suddenly, Teoh overheard through the grapevine that the dogs were to be put down without any prior notice given to him.

Since then, he is having sleepless nights, finding ways to delay the process, originally planned for last Friday, thus the birth of an online petition to seek support.

Together with friends and his wife, Teoh also went to the state veterinary kennel on Friday where the dogs are kept to openly appeal.

A teary-eyed Teoh managed to win a respite for the dogs yesterday.

The Penang municipal council has delayed the process until May 31, giving Teoh 10 days to plea his case through legal redress.

The ruling is that the pitbulls are to be handed over to the council to be destroyed or dealt with in any other action deemed appropriate.

Teoh sees a loophole but he needs lawyers who are willing to fight the case passionately and not just to make a quick buck or fame.

For now, he is reaching out to the online community to get their views while he wages his campaign, using all means at his disposal.

His online petition is available at *
http://www.petitiononline.com/mddbpg/petition.html
http://www.mddb-mccp.blogspot.com/

As of 11am on Sunday, Teoh has collected 264 signatures.

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