Apathetic authorities to blame for animal cruelty in Malaysia, observers say

Local canine welfare group Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) asserted that cruelty against dogs were prevalent due to cultural programming. ― Reuters pic
Local canine welfare group Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) asserted that cruelty against dogs were prevalent due to cultural programming. ― Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Animal abuses such as the case of a dog that was shot with two arrows yesterday continue to occur due to the apathy of the authorities to such cruelty, an animal rights group and a lawyer said today.

Lawyer N. Surendran noted that there were already adequate laws with which to punish those guilty of cruelty to animals and dissuade others who may follow suit.

“It is the enforcement of law, law is there to punish but the authorities are not taking animal abuse in this country seriously,” Surendran said when contacted by The Malay Mail Online.

“Even in court, nothing is ever done on serious abuse.”

He alleged that the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia rarely raised issues of animal welfare and said the police were uninterested in dealing with animal abuse cases.

Local canine welfare group Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) asserted that cruelty against dogs were prevalent due to cultural programming.

Apathy towards animal cruelty was also not limited to the authorities, MDDB manager Melinda Joy Gomez said when pointing out that many Malaysians “lack any animal appreciation.”

“It is caused by the local councils, dog catchers, that is why people perceive animals to be dirty and unclean,” Gomez said.

“It created a precedent and it is culturally ingrained in them.”

Yesterday, a dog named Brianna was reportedly shot with two arrows by a man outside his home at Taman Sinaran, Taming Jaya.

The dog was rescued by another resident, who lodged a police report and contacted MDDB that is now fostering Brianna.

In 2012, the government amended the Animal Act 1953 to provide for fines of up to RM50,000 and jail terms of up to one year for cases of animal abuse.

It tabled in the same year the Animal Welfare Bill that proposed to punish cases of animal abuse with fines of up to RM100,000 and three years’ jail, but this is yet to be passed.

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