Stray dogs not given the rights they deserve

Man’s best friend is under threat due to indifference. (rawpixel.com pic)

PETALING JAYA: The killing, trapping and euthanising of stray dogs has been going on for years now but it doesn’t seem to solve the problems of stray dogs.

Recently, a dog was found dead with two arrows sticking out of its body. The incident took place at Pekan Kuah in Pulau Langkawi, Kedah. It is clearly a cruel way to take the life of an animal.

According to Section 30 of the Animal Welfare Act 2015, no animal may be killed by a gun unless it is authorised by the veterinary authority in an emergency, or for disease control.

Putting down a terminally ill or suffering animal must also be certified by the veterinary authority or by a registered veterinary surgeon, unless the matter cannot wait like if the animal is injured beyond recovery in an accident.

So, where does humanity stand in today’s world? Why has society lost its most important value?

People have grown extremely impersonal; all they care about is themselves. They use a self-centric approach rather than a people-centric or selfless approach when it comes to animals.

In Malaysia, some of the animal rights laws are considered to be useless and under-enforced. More people today are beginning to see that animals have rights too and should be protected by laws and regulations.

Sadly there are many people who don’t take animal rights or protection laws seriously. These people abuse animals in many ways including beating the animal to death and putting poison in their food.

“The penalty amount is fine but I think they should go for a longer jail term.” says Mukunnan Sugumaran, the founder of Malaysian Animal Welfare Association.

Speaking to FMT, he said the government should also look at how western countries impose a sentence of social service when wrongdoers are caught.

Trap-neuter release-manage is the best method to control the stray population. (rawpixel.com pic)

“That means when you have committed cruelty towards an animal, the guilty person should be sentenced to work in a shelter for at least 40 hours a month to build compassion towards animals.

A letter of acknowledgement should then be given saying that you did the job properly throughout the sentence. If you fail in social service then you should be sent to prison for another six months,” he said.

“So, when you are put in such a situation under legal provision, then you will not think of doing such a mistake again.

“It is being practised in countries like UK, US and India that when you are found guilty you are supposed to do social services”.

He also said that the best way to control the population of stray dogs is to practise the trap-neuter-and-release-management (TNRM) method.

“A lot of people have misconceptions on how neutering management works. Everyone thinks that TNRM is just neutering alone, it is not that.

The word management is describing the after effects of neutering. It means you don’t just dump the animal in the street after that, you make sure that there is continuity of care,” says Mukunnan.

Edward Lim from PAWS Animal Welfare Society agrees that TNRM is the best method because eventually in five to six year’s time the street dogs will die a natural death.

He added that the government should enforce a rule making it mandatory for the public to neuter all their animals. This method would be more civilised and humane.

Our world is full of cruelty and violence, but while you are able to protect themselves, to ask for help and you know their rights, animals do not have such abilities.

Animals are trained to do humanistic things, so, their lifestyles are similar to that of a human. If all humans have rights then why don’t animals have the same rights too?