IPOH, November 5 — The Kampar District Council today claimed one of its enforcement team openly fired at stray dogs to protect themselves from being attacked by the canines that were violent and aggressive during the attempt to capture them.

Council president Abdul Halim Saad stressed that there were no laws that permit enforcement officers to deliberately shoot strays except in an emergency situation.

Abdul Halim said that the operation to capture the strays was conducted late on November 2 as previous attempts to catch the strays in the daytime were unsuccessful.

He said the operation was carried out following complaints from various parties including West City Management, LDS International Management and Keranji assemblyman’s office, which reported that the strays attacked and bit nearby residents.

He stressed that the main focus of the operation was to identify and capture the aggressive stray dogs as they were a threat to the public.

“As a safety measure, the enforcement team was equipped with a firearm for the purpose of defending themselves if the dogs behave aggressively and attack them.

“This is in accordance with the written agreement issued by the Veterinary Department to the local councils throughout Malaysia via letter dated July 9, 2020,” he said in a statement.

He explained that the operation had been smooth until the enforcement team encountered a group of 16 stray dogs that were violent and tried to attack an officer during an attempt to catch them.

“In an emergency situation, the enforcement team fired at the strays, which killed four dogs, while the rest ran away and could not be located,” he said.

“A total of 24 adult stray dogs were captured alive in the operation around Kampar and it did not involve any puppies,” he added.

He also criticised Keranji assemblyman Chong Zhemin who alleged that 20 dogs were shot during the operation.

“Chong’s claim that all the stray dogs in Kampar city were tame is also not true as his office itself had made a report on May 28, 2020 and May 20 this year on the violent strays in the area,” he said.

“Furthermore, there was no policy on neutering the strays set by the councillors during the Pakatan Harapan administration as claimed by Chong. There is no written policy on this matter.

“There was discussion about this policy, but no decision was made as no party was willing to bear the cost for the neutering process,” he added.

As a long-term measure, Abdul Halim said the council will study the root cause of the stray animal population, especially dogs.

“At the end, strays cause disturbance and harm to the public following from disease or less food source and have the habit of moving as a group.

“We will also study if there is necessary to tighten the rules in keeping dogs as pets in the future and thorough enforcement action on those who own and breed dogs without control and licences,” he added.

He also urged dog owners to follow existing licence rules and to sterilise pets under their care.

“We also welcome any groups or individuals who are willing to help the council in the effort to control the stray population,” he said.

Yesterday, Persatuan Pencinta Haiwan Jalanan Kampar and Chong claimed that stray dogs were shot by the local authorities.

They also condemned the act of arbitrary shooting and killing of wild animals.