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Animal Welfare Bill: A Step In The Right Direction

 


Animal lovers can look forward to an end to animal cruelty and abuse with the proposal by the Department of Veterinary Service (DVS) to introduce the Animal Welfare Bill in Parliament.
 
The decision by the DVS to brief all the stakeholders with regard to the proposed Bill is a step in the right direction.
 
It is very appropriate for the Department to engage the stakeholders and also to post the concept draft on the DVS website in order to allow Non-governmental Organisation and the public to voice their concerns, opinions and suggestions with regard to the critical issue of animal welfare.
 
A bill such as the one concerning animal welfare will surely attract numerous comments and suggestions.
 
I compliment the DVS for its decision to listen and to accept reasonable and constructive proposals in order to create a comprehensive new welfare legislation tailored to suit the needs of all those connected with animals and animal welfare.
 
Public consultation is indeed very vital and is in line with the Prime Ministers off-repeated statement that gone is the era when the Government knows best for what is needed for the country.
 
The Governments proposed Bill should take into account the views of animal welfare groups, and all other stakeholders who have invaluable input in this regard.
 
Animal pets have to be better treated and not as commodities that can be acquired and thrown away on a whim.
 
Do not buy pets for fun. They must be treated as companions for life. Be with them through good and bad times. Love them and be loved unconditionally.
 
Pet shops must be better regulated and animals must not be crammed in cages as there are shops that only provide space for an animal to stand in and turn around in cages where hygiene is lacking.
 
Having pets is a huge responsibility and people should think long and hard before acquiring dogs or cats as their pets.
 
Pet owners should always be reminded of their responsibilities to reduce incidence of dumping and abuse of pets. The abandonment of pets should be viewed as a serious offence.
 
Humane methods must be applied by all local authorities when handling strays. So far our records of handling strays fall short of expectations in terms of putting a stop to animal cruelty.
 
Animal lovers have stood by and watched helplessly as animal abuse cases are committed daily by local municipal employees ( except for a few local authorities ) handling stray dogs with brute force, pet owners neglecting or abandoning their pets, zoo animals living in deplorable conditions and with strays brutally treated, maimed or killed by cruel individuals.
 
It is hoped through the proposed Animal Welfare Bill will put an end to this kind of inhumane acts against animals and help improve Malaysias standing worldwide in the area of animal welfare.
 
What remains the big challenge now is to ensure that the Bill gets to Parliament as soon as possible, debated and passed before it gets enforced.


 

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Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, former Member of Parliament for Bukit Bintang, is SPCA Selangor's patron for a tenure of two years commencing 2012. Tan Sri Lee, an animal-welfare activist, has always found time in his busy schedule to champion issues on animal abuse, as well as to assist in Government lobbying for amendments to the Animal Act and to Local Government by-laws for municipals.

Currently, Tan Sri Lee is the Chairman of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Ministry of Human Resources as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of SP Setia Foundation. He is also the Vice Chairman and Member of the Executive Council of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF). Tan Sri Lee also sits on the Board of Directors of several listed companies including S.P. Setia and Media Prima Berhad. Tan Sri Lee has been conferred many awards over the years, most recent being the Seri Panglima Darjah Kinabalu (Illustrious Order of Kinabalu, Sabah) which carries the title of Datuk Seri Panglima..

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