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Tough new law against animal abuse

 | June 17, 2015

Local Councils would also be subject to the new law against animal abuse.

Ismail Sabri3

KUALA LUMPUR: Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ismail Sabri has wrapped up debate on the Animal Welfare Bill 2015 which brings a new set of laws and regulations against animal cruelty; physical and non-physical, and imposes a fine up to RM 100,000 and/or imprisonment for a maximum three years if violated.

Speaking in the lobby of Parliament House, Ismail said, “We hope that with this Act, it will also increase awareness among the public that animals need to be protected and loved.”

“We should put a stop to cases of animal abuse and cruelty as highlighted by the media these days.”

Ismail added the new Bill was different from the existing Animal Bill 2012 in terms of the punishment being more severe, as well as other provisions, including the formation of a new Animal Welfare Board which will be responsible for raising awareness by way of education, and coming up with new regulations for local councils.

The new Act, supported by all MPs, would also prohibit local councils (PBT) from acting inhumanely against animals as part of their animal control programmes. “For example, certain local councils are shooting stray dogs to reduce the population,” said Ismail. “Under this new law, shooting of dogs was prohibited. The council that does this would be subject to the law, much like other animal abusers.”

The new Act, Ismail said, will also specify the acceptable size of cages and closures in pet shops that display cats and dogs, as well as have guidelines on the transport of animals in containers. “Right now there are no regulations, as to the size of the space where these animals such as cats and birds are kept, and its up to the the pet shop owners,” he said.

“Sometimes numerous cows are packed together for transport, but this Act will specify the number of cows allowed within a given space.”

The Animal Welfare Board, according to Ismail , will work under his Ministry directly, and will consist of officers from the Veterinary Department, and other agencies, such as Environmental, Health Ministry, and Local City Councilors.

The Board will be formed as soon as the Act was passed by the Dewan Negara and gazetted, which Ismail hopes will happen before the end of the year.

In the meantime, Ismail urged the public to report cases of animal abuse to his Ministry, via SMS to the number 15888. “We will take action against animal abuse,” said Ismail.


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