11 Nov 2010 UPDATE:
The article published by The Star today merely states that
The Perak government has asked all local councils in the state to study the feasibility of using tranquiliser darts to put down strays.
There is no mention of the ban on shooting of dogs. And the question that begs to be asked is "Why must these strays be put down before giving them a chance to be rehomed, or even to consider other methods of stray management such as Trap, Neuter and Release?
10 Nov 2010: AWAM has just received news from PetPositive that the DVS has ordered and immediate end to all dog shooting in Malaysia following a meeting between DVS and several animal welfare/rights groups.
This is excellent news and AWAM hopes that the DVS will hold true to their word and ensure that this ban is implemented with immediate effect. AWAM and all animal lovers look forward to seeing this news made official in our local press.
However, in addition to a ban on shooting of dogs in the country, AWAM would like to stress that the management of strays in the country needs a complete overhaul. This includes, and is not limited to, significantly improved and humane dog catching methods (such as humane traps) as well as a major upgrade of the local pounds.
Veterinary Department Orders An Immediate End To All Dog-Shooting In Malaysia
DATELINE DEPARTMENT OF VETERINARY SERVICES, PUTRAJAYA:
THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERINARY SERVICES (DVS) has called for an immediate ban on dog-shooting in the entire country.
This follows the senseless shooting to death of a senior therapy dog named "Spunk" in Taman Merdeka by the Ipoh City Council or MBI on October 30th, last month.
The canine belonged to a 75-year-old retired teacher who is a member of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (PETPOSITIVE).
"Not only was it an extremely sad and regrettable incident but the killing of an animal that brought only hope and companionship to a senior citizen is inexcusable and a major embarrassment to Malaysia's image internationally," said Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamalludin, (right) the Director-General of the DVS.
"The DVS views what happened very seriously," he added to a question put by PET+BLOGSPOT at a press conference this afternoon at the Department of Agriculture building here.
Dr Aziz was speaking at the conclusion of a special open dialogue session this morning in which he served as the chair.
|Dr Aziz leading the discussion|
The event, which was organised by the DVS, brought together about 30 people from government bodies as well as animal rights and welfare NGOs.
Apart from Petpositive, the other representatives came from the Independent Living and Training Centre (ILTC) in Rawang, Selangor, SPCAs from Selangor and Ipoh, Noah's Ark also from Perak, state and the Malaysian National Animal Welfare Foundation (MNAWF) from Kuala Lumpur.
The MNAWF was represented by its chairman Datuk Dr Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor, a former director-general of the Veterinary Services Department.
Petpositive called for the immediate outlawing of dog-shooting at the meeting. This was echoed by all of the NGOs at the meeting.
|Cruel to shoot dogs|
"The reason why local councils resort to dog-shooting is to find a quick solution to the problem of strays but this is not an acceptable solution," Dr Aziz pointed out.
"Dog-shooting is not only unnecessary but a cruel practice that is unacceptable in today's world," he added.
"It is also very dangerous as the bullet could strike human beings.
"Councils will no longer be allowed to shoot dogs but only under special situations such as in disease situations; however, it can only be done in very rare cases and under the supervision of qualified veterinarians.
"Councils should instead employ more humane methods to effectively deal with the stray problem by catching them and offering training to their catchers.
"Councils that currently exercise dog-shooting currently should learn from local councils in Selangor, in particular, that have abandoned such practices and now employ humane and more effective methods in stray management.
Dr Aziz says his department will be writing immediately to the MBI to instruct them to cease all dog-shooting.
This will also apply to other local councils in the country that is also engaging in such practices.
A representative of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government who was present at today's meeting said that his department will also do the same.
Speaking to PET+BLOGSPOT after the meeting, Dr Ranjit Kaur from Noah's Ark said she was delighted by the decision of the DVS and the action that will be taken.
"As an advocate who has been actively fighting against canine-shooting in our city for many years, it was truly worth traveling all the way to this meeting."
Beaming also from ear to ear was Dr Goh Hue Lang, the head of SPCA in Ipoh.
"Whilst dog-shooting is going to be a thing of the past, there are still many things to do to solve the problem of stray dogs in the city which we all need to put our heads together in order to find the best solution," she said.
Newcomer to the animal rights movement, Francis Siva, president of ILTC, said he was most impressed with Dr Aziz.
"He came across as a very approachable DG who had an amazing understand of dogs, their behaviour and how best to approach the issue," he noted.