These Articles Were Written 27 Years Ago. Has Anyt..


These articles were written 27 years ago. Has anything changed?

Now who wants to be man’s best friend?


ANIMAL cruelty, although not given as much attention as child abuse or wife battery, is one of the issues plaguing our society.

Common forms of animal abuse range from wanton beating, starvation, maiming, and cramped and filthy living conditions to the extreme of painfully killing them for the cooking pot.

What’s disturbing is the discovery that animals fall prey to abuse mainly due to human chauvinism.

Why aren’t Malaysians – known for their caring and compassionate nature – able to respect and care for members of the other species?

Because of “the lack of animal appreciation,” says director-general of the Veterinary Department Datuk Dr Hadi Hashim.

But how do we go about educating a society – which is apparently unaware that animals too experience fear, anger, fright and hurt – on animal appreciation?

He reckons that teachers and parents are the ones responsible for educating the younger generation about love and compassion for animals.

“Animal appreciation begins in homes and schools. Parents and teachers should educate their children and wards on the importance of animals in our daily lives,” he adds.

He stresses too that people must be prepared to make sacrifices and allowances when they commit to care for an animal.

This, he says, may decrease the number of animal cruelty cases in our country.

“They must know that aquiring a pet is a life-long commitment and not a passing whim,” he adds.

The Veterinary Department in doing its part towards the prevention of cruelty to animals had from time to time organised “animal appreciation” weeks since 1987.

“We used to organise Animal Welfare Week regularly but due to unforeseen circumstances are not able to do so anymore,” says Dr Hadi.

He says the department is working towards coming up with several more methods to educate the public on animal appreciation.

Datuk Dr Hadi added that cases of animal cruelty are rarely taken to court because complainants hesitate – and at times even refuse – to come forward as witnesses.

“The Veterinary Department acts immediately upon receiving a complaint. But it is important that people come forward and justify their allegations,” he says.

Furthermore, his department can act accordingly and effectively only if it has the support of the public.

He confirmed that the Animal Ordinance (1953) will be amended soon and reveals that his department has already prepared the draft to be presented in Parliament.

In addition, a section of the inadequate ordinance known as the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act would be amended to Animal Welfare Act to give it more clout.

Under the act, any living creature other than a human being – including any beast, bird, fish, reptile or insect whether wild or tame – is entitled to protection from cruelty.

Hence, edible frogs – which are severely knocked on the head, left to convulse for a few seconds before they are skinned – and wildlife which is killed by strangulation (to prevent bleeding as it is believed bleeding toughens the meat) for exotic dishes are all protected under the Animal Ordinance.

Pitbull fights and cock fights are also prohibited under this act.

Under the amended act, the penalty for animal cruelty will be increased to RM20,000 from the present RM200 and the jail term extended to 12 months from the present six months.

Animal lovers and activists welcome this move as they feel it is time something concrete was done.

But, unfortunately, legal advisers of the department are of the opinion that the fine is too high for crimes of such a nature.

Chan Mo Lin of the SPCA says that the increased fine is certainly not much as only then will irresponsible people be aware of the seriousness of their crime.

“I feel that any amount less than that will certainly not act as a deterrent.”

She says that cases of animal cruelty must be similarly regarded and given the same priority as child abuse.

“What’s the point of putting ourselves on the map as a developing country when we behave as animals towards animals?” she asks.

Many believe that it is extremely hypocritical of us to be leading a crusade against pollution and other social issues but ignore the glaring fact that animals suffer a great deal in our midst.

Some suggest retributive measures be taken when dealing with cases involving acts of immense and insane cruelty like a recent dog-shooting episode.

The incident which was televised raised a furore when a gaggle of trigger-happy dog-shooters – who evidently enjoyed their grisly task of maiming and hurting the dogs – went on a dog-shooting rampage in a southern coastal town.

What ripped at the hearts of animal lovers was the scene of yelping dogs with shattered limbs – as if driven by a fierce will to live – dragging themselves away after being hit by shotgun pellets.

Dr Hadi says that his department is reviewing the practice of shooting dogs.

He says he has instructed all the state pengarah to direct their staff to trap dogs to be humanely euthanised.

He says that some of the districts have been using this method (trapping) for quite a while now.

Dr Hadi says that private contractors hired to trap dogs usually have qualified vets under their employment but admits that things do get out of hand at times.

However, he assures all animal lovers that his department is certainly working towards better animal welfare and rights.

“We will definitely look into irregular occurrences and see that they are not repeated,” he says.


Why do we do this to dogs?

THE dog cowers pitifully, its thin and mange-infested body trembling in fright, as the man gives it a hard kick.

Whimpering in pain, the unfortunate canine which has a fresh scald wound on its back drags itself away pathetically.

Such a scenario is common here where dogs – which lead somewhat precarious lives in our midst – are the ones that suffer the most due to some people’s non-compassionate and heinous nature.

It is sad too that canines, which play a fundamental role in our social-infrastructure, are unjustly denied of care and understanding by a majority of our “caring” society. Most people seem to have relinquished responsibility for domesticated animals which through no fault of their own have been forced to live side by side with humans.

Why can’t people treat dogs – which besides being man’s best friends are actively present in the armed forces – with more understanding and humanity?

For those, whose bond with animals is stronger than that with fellow humans, mindless acts of maiming and torturing canines are regarded with intense outrage and anger.

For them, nothing is more tragic than the pitiful sight of an animal suffering due to man’s tendency to cruelty.

At times, when dogs end up on the menu – as dog-kut-teh or mutt kebab to satiate man’s ever-demanding palate – it is usually after much suffering followed by a painful death.

A popular belief is that dog meat will only taste sweet and succulent if the animal does not bleed externally when killed.

Hence, the canine is soundly whacked on the nose and left to die of internal haemorrhage.

Animal rights activists (not that there are many here) and animal lovers reckon that there is an urgent need for dogs to be elevated in the minds of people before such acts of cruelty can be curbed.

They say that people should be made aware that dogs go beyond being cute, clever and edible.

“Often, owners surrender their pets to us with the excuse that the animal is naughty,” says a spokesman of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) who declines to be named.

Due to workload and shortage of staff, the organisation – which depends on various fund-raising projects to support the hundreds of canines and felines it houses – is unable to keep accurate records of abuse cases.

Nevertheless, a random consensus by an animal rights group indicates that more than 50 per cent of animals brought to animal welfare organisations and pounds are victims of extreme abuse and neglect.

She says that a large number of dogs and puppies are surrendered to the organisation daily.

Some owners who turn in their pets say that their dogs have turned hostile on several occasions.

The spokeswoman says that dogs are sensitive animals that only turn nasty when severely provoked. “Dogs are very sharp and intelligent animals that are deeply sentient and possess emotions.”

She adds that a canine usually turns aggressive when its badly broken spirit is set against its persecutor’s brutal treatment.

She reveals that the SPCA receives over 10,000 dogs per annum and a large number of them are victims of cruelty.

The organisation also receives strays rounded up by the various district councils.

“The most common acts of cruelty are cases in which dogs are brought in with ropes and wires – which were used to tie them – embedded in the flesh around the neck,” the spokesman says.

By the time the animal reaches the welfare organisation, the wound is usually large, gaping and badly infected.

Under such circumstances, she says, they have no other alternative but to put the animal out of its misery by painlessly euthanising it.

Nevertheless, she lauds those who care enough to bring their pets to the SPCA instead of dumping them on the streets.

She narrates how in September 1987, several animal inspectors from the SPCA went to an isolated area in Kuala Lumpur to investigate a possible case of animal cruelty.

Upon arriving at the location, they were shocked to find a live Spitz tied up in a sack and left to die. The dog had a large maggoty wound – which was at least three weeks old – in its neck.

Not wanting to spend any money treating or putting the dog to sleep – nor having the patience to wait for it to die – the owner had resorted to the cruel act of discarding it instead.

“The SPCA with the help of the police managed to get the owner charged in court. He was eventually fined RM200 (the maximum penalty for animal cruelty).

The incident became the first animal cruelty case in Malaysia, more than three decades after the implementation of the Animal Ordinance (1953). Thanks to the complainant who came forward to give evidence.

The SPCA spokesman relates another incident in which animal inspectors rushed to the Serdang Agricultural Institute after receiving reports of a dog groaning in pain throughout the night.

The sight that greeted them, she says, not only chilled their hearts but resulted in their losing all faith in mankind.

“Buried in a shallow grave with its mouth and nostrils exposed (the animal managed to claw its way out partially) was a dog that was barely alive. It was weakened from desperately trying to free itself the whole night.”

Since there was no hope of saving the poor dog’s life, it was immediately put to sleep.

The dog had apparently been buried by security guards from the institute for its loud barking the previous night.

What’s happening to Malaysians and why are they capable of such unfeeling and blood-thirsty acts?

It is time we realised that animals have their rights too and take a long hard look at how we abuse and violate them.

Anyway, what right has anyone to torment and disfigure God’s creatures?

Source: https://www.facebook.com/64173243307/posts/10160087415453308..



Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better

Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better is a canine welfare programme initiated by non-profit organisation Community Development and Integration Initiative (CDII).

MDDB's main activities revolve around rescuing dogs from the local council pounds as well as off the streets. Once they have been rescued, the dogs are vaccinated and neutered before being put up for adoption.

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