Animals have rights too - Malaysiakini. com
Five years ago, when a German Shepherd by the name of
Sheena was abandoned by her irresponsible owner, the dog died a painful
death, due to starvation which led to the failure of her internal organs.
The owner claimed he was busy moving house and was obvious he wanted to get
rid of this faithful
guard dog in the easiest way possible.
Sheena's abuse and subsequent death caused an outcry among animal lovers who
were all willing to punish the owner themselves if they could. And their
disgust at the way Sheena's engineer owner left his pet dog of seven years
to die never ceased all because the owner , Lien Chong San of USJ 17, Subang
Jaya received nothing short of a slap on the wrist from the law - Lien was
fined a pathetic RM100 in default of two days' jail. He was charged under
Section 44 (1) (d) of the Animal Ordinance 1953, which carried a maximum
fine of RM200 or a maximum six months jail or both.
NONE]Instead of taking responsibility for her well being, Lien took the
easy way out and let Sheena die a painful death, leaving her with no
water to drink or food to eat when he moved house. Could he not make any
arrangement to have the dog adopted? Did Lien not know of the existence of
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) or the
Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) which could have helped him find
Sheena a new owner?
What was and is still revolting is to note the
zero value and respect the law places on animals. The Animal Act
Ordinance 1953 itself has little sympathy for animals, looking at its
absurd penalty of a maximum fine of RM200 or a jail term of six months.
The Animal Ordinance came under fire after animal lover Sabrina Yeop,
formerly of SPCA Selangor, revealed her frustrations at the light
sentences imposed on animal abusers. Together with a SPCA volunteer Dawn
Peacock, Yeop drafted the SPCA petition to amend the Animal Ordinance
Since 1953 only two or three abusers received jail sentences
and that too which were never more than two days. Fifty two years later
and the situation remained unchanged when Sheena's heartless owner was
only slapped a RM100 fine.
The government passed the new Animal Act
2006 but typically the Act was a cosmetic attempt by the government
to claim its concern over the issue of animal abuse. Sadly, not a single
provision of the Animal Ordinance 1953 was changed. Why? Have the law
makers no heart, forgetting how a lovable Sheena met her death?
Animal rights non-existent in Malaysia
It was reported that a recent
incident in Johor Baru saw five men armed with sticks attacking several
harmless stray cats and dogs that were under the care of the Johor Baru
Humane Touch Animal Welfare Society in Taman Delima.
In 2005 *The
Star* reported an abuse case by a cat breeder. The breeder was charged in
court for neglecting the cats he used for breeding by forcing them to lie
in small cages alongside their own feces, resulting in an unbearable
If the animal abuse is not heartbreaking enough, the
indifferent attitude of the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has
worsened matters. The public has often complained that they received no
response from the department each time they reported an abuse. In
Sheena's case, the newspapers reported that the neighbour telephoned DVS
three times and yet the department did nothing.
Now, why the
lackadaisical attitude in rescuing abused animals? Has religion anything
to do with saving dogs i.e. dogs are an issue the DVS has no interest in?
Until and unless religion is used to discriminate animals, Malaysia's
dogs and cats have little hope in being saved.
[image: abused dog
2]It is baffling to understand why the government has little interest in
creating stiffer penalty for animal abusers. Animals will be given no
respect by their owners if the law provides negligible punishment. There
are times that the court returns the abused animals to the abusers even
after a guilty verdict is pronounced. This show of no pity for animals
gives out a message to society that it is alright to harm or abuse
More recently, online news site Malaysiakini on March 17
carried a letter from a reader by the name of M Nisha who wrote about the
ghastly animal abuse at the Kepong Central KTM station. The incident took
place on March 15 at 3pm. The writer heard a dog howling in a painful cry
and she saw the canine being tied to the grille of the station *(right*).
The dog's leg and neck were tied very tightly to the grille and a piece
of wood had been shoved down its throat! The dog was bleeding and
surrounded by its feces.
When the writer confronted the KTM workers
they said the culprits were the Kuala Lumpur City Hall workers because a
minister would be visiting the station the following week.
Malaysian style, use people, abuse animals
It is deplorable to learn
that just to facilitate a minister's visit, City Hall workers will go to
any length to make an impression. It seems they have no qualms murdering
dogs or cats just to cover their otherwise questionable performances.
Everyone knows just how "efficient" the City Hall workers are. But to
abuse a dog or cat is sickening and even more pathetic is the fact that
the minister in question cared two hoots about animals rights to take the
workers involved to task.
Current prime minister Najib
Abdul Razak *(left)* has no time for animals because they are in no
position to give him their votes, hence they are useless to him. That's
why as a shrewd politician he devised the claim 'rakyat didahulukan
pencapaian diutamakan'. He has made no mention of animal care ever since
taking over leadership of Malaysia.
In fact none of the country's
prime ministers' can be remembered for having had any pets. Their
inability to reach out to animals is reflected in the shameful penalty in
the Animal Ordinance 1953 and now Animal Act 2006.
If any of the
politicians or leaders had any love for animals, they would have been
aghast at the way Sheena was abused and the hopeless punishment given to
her owner. But as animals have no voice, they cannot cry out against the
abuse they suffer, so there is no need for the politicians or the
government to worry about in being accused of not doing their job.
throw Najib a challenge - do whatever it takes to reflect love, compassion
and respect for animals by everyone irrespective of their position or
status. Amend the toothless Animal Act 2006. Be the pet owners or local
council workers, none must be spared. No more abuse of animals to please
VIPs or get into their good books. Also, do not spare local council workers
who are merciless in dealing with stray cats and dogs.
If countries like India, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
and Hong Kong can display affection towards animal through stiffer
penalties against animal abusers, what is stopping Malaysia?
is leading in increasing number of convictions for animal abuse with
stiff penalties. One court in India stopped the bullock cart race held
during temple festivals because the cows are beaten with sticks to make them
While UAE's laws not only protect domestic pets but also
stray animals. Abuse of an animal is punishable with imprisonment of up
to one year and a fine of not more than RM10,000 or both.
years ago, Hong Kong passed The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(Amendment) Bill 2006 to impose stiffer penalties for animal cruelty. The
fine was raised from US$641 to US$25, 641 and a jail term of three years.
The government even set up a hotline to report abuse and citizens could call
the police who are given the authority to arrest animal abusers.
what about Malaysia? The politicians here are too busy playing politics
to save their backs to even spare a thought for animals, be they pets or
Like in Hong Kong, a hotline to report animal abuse is needed
here in Malaysia. Animal abusers must be made to do community service at
animal shelters besides serving jail term, all to make them realise that
animal life is just as precious as human life, if not more.
Animals shelters like SPCA and PAWS must be assisted by way of funds or land
space to enable them to shelter animals comfortably.
important move is to educate children from young to show affection
towards animals and to become responsible pet owners. Set up 'love animals'
clubs in primary and secondary schools and continue in colleges and
universities. It is not only humans, animals too need love and lots of it.
And it is not too much to ask for a ministry to dedicate itself to deal
with animal affairs, is it? If Najib could upon becoming the country's
sixth prime minister, quickly visit places like Puduraya and Brickfields
which are the prime areas, why has he not visited the animals shelters
SPCA and PAWS. Why did he not set a precedent by adopting a cat or two
and encourage his colleagues to do so? Is it very difficult to work with
corporate companies and reward those who are genuine animal lovers and
who adopt pets from shelters?
Obama's pet pooch
government can help sponsor 'adopt-a-pet' to orphanages and old folks by
subsidising the cost of maintaining a pet. Obviously, there is a lot that
can be done to provide animals at shelters a home and family if only the
government is dedicated and committed to saving animals which is not the
case in Malaysia.
Having pets does wonders for one's health and Najib
must set an example by giving cats at shelters a home and family. Life is
not all about politics and power, it is also about sharing love with
animals, be they cats or dogs and be they strays or pedigree.
[image: barrack obama 201008 01]Najib is beaming from ear to ear having been
given an opportunity to hold a 40-minute long bilateral talk with United
States president Barack Obama *(right)*, their first ever, ahead of the
Nuclear Summit in Washington, on April 12. It is a shame that Najib made no
effort to learn from Obama about caring for animals. For Najib's
information, Obama wasted no time in getting a pet dog for his family upon
becoming the President of the USA.
At his first Press conference,
Obama was questioned by reporters on which breed the family was looking
to acquire and he replied, "our preference would be to get a shelter dog
but obviously a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me." The Obamas' soon
became proud owners of a male Portuguese Water dog they named Bo which by
the way was also neutered.
So, Najib and family, please take a cue
from Obama and go to the rescue of the many adorable cats awaiting homes
and families at SPCA and PAWS shelters. SPCA can be contacted at
03-42565312/ 42535179 and *PAWS <http://www.paws.
org.my/> *. There are over 400 beautiful animals comprising kittens,
cats, puppies and dogs at the SPCA Animal Shelter in Ampang Jaya.
This article is dedicated to my two sons' Timor and Putra for teaching me
about unconditional love and to all the animals out there who bring a touch
of happiness into our lives. Thank you.
JESWAN KAUR is a journalist
who spent many years writing for the mainstream media before deciding to
'break free' and put pen to paper to focus on and fight for issues that
are conveniently marginalised by the powers-that- be.
by Darrel Damian <http://malaysiakini
.com/columns/ 129610#> - Yesterday
I despise Animal cruelty, it's
a shame that there are no laws at all to protect the rights of the
animals and prevent abuse and cruelty towards animals and pets. The
government would not be able to do anything about it at the moment, I
just hope that the people would have some form of conscience and
awareness about it. It is true that the government failed to protect the
interest of handicapped, disabled, children rights, even natives and non-malays.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
by Dr Suresh Kumar <http://malaysiakini
.com/columns/ 129610#> - 2 days ago
These politicians cannot even
care for the handicapped, disabled and marginalized citizens, what more
for those poor animals. How can these politicians can even think of
achieving developed nation status when the country is being run by
inhumane, imbeciles? These people are only skilled in continuing the
pilferage of state coffers and give empty promises to the electorate
during elections. With such politicians in our midst, the aspiration to
be a developed nation will remain a wishful thinking for a long time to
come. A country with first world facilities but third world mentality.
Tuesday April 20, 2010 - The Star Animal welfare in
research labs questioned
SAHABAT Alam Malaysia (SAM) wishes
to express our opposition against the proposed three animal
experimentation laboratories to be set up in Rembia, Alor Gajah
We deplore the exploitation of animals in painful
and often largely pointless research for optional human purposes.
SAM is concerned over the animal welfare or the suffering that
primates and laboratory animals undergo during scientific
procedures and research. There is no way that animals used for
laboratory purposes can adhere to the “Five Freedoms”: freedom
from hunger and thirst; from discomfort; from pain, injury or
disease; from fear and distress and freedom to express normal
behaviour – if these animals are going to be incarcerated in cages
and subjected to research or toxicity tests.
wild animals and conditions in which they are kept in
laboratories are seldom adequate to meet even their most basic
needs. They are subjected to stress and fear at all times.
Furthermore, the acquisition of some macaques may involve capture
from the wild to supplement captive-breeding colonies. Capturing
them causes huge distress due to the trapping process, transport
to holding or breeding centre, quarantine, and adjustment to new
social and environmental problems.
On the other hand, the
import of beagles from Holland has raised concerns over the
conditions in which animals are kept in breeding and supplying
establishments for subsequent use in laboratories.
for instance, the French National Association against Trafficking
in Pets reported that about 60,000 dogs disappear annually, half of
them stolen for use by research laboratories.
dealers will then target animal shelters to meet the demands for
drug and pharmaceutical testing. According to a report in the
Advocates for Animals Annual Review 1992, the Spanish Animal
Defence Association stated that more than 2,500 stray dogs and
cats were taken each year from Spanish animal shelters to
laboratories in Germany and Switzerland.
The demand for
beagles will certainly give rise to a disturbing trade in stray
and stolen dogs.
Another concern is the absence of
legislation governing the use of animals in research and
experimentation. Currently, there are no provisions under the
Protection of Wildlife Act 1976 and the Animal Act (2006) to ensure
humane care, treatment and handling of animals used for research.
Moreover, the absence of access to laboratories and the veil of
secrecy surrounding the use of animals in research make it very
difficult to monitor what is being done to animals inside these
*S M MOHD IDRIS,*