KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer and animal welfare activist N Surendran has defended the decision of the Magistrate’s Court to fine a man for throwing his shoe at a stray cat, saying the offence is by no means petty.
The Malaysian Animal Rights Society president said the case should serve as a lesson to people not to do anything that might harm animals.
The former Padang Serai MP said the Animal Welfare Act made it an offence to cause fear to an animal.
“You cannot beat or try to beat an animal. The law is clear on that,” he told FMT.
“This is not an issue where someone chases away a cat from his house. It goes beyond chasing when you try to beat the animal with a shoe,” he said.
Earlier today, Zaini Othman, 59, was fined RM2,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court after he admitted to a charge of scaring a black cat at his Taman Tun Dr Ismail apartment building here on Sept 20, 2017.
His act was captured by a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera.
A video clip of the incident, lasting about 95 seconds, shows him aggressively chasing and trying to beat the cat after he had come out from a lift.
As the cat, which appeared frantic, was running away from him, he threw one of his shoes towards it.
In one instance, the cat was seen leaping in an attempt to pull the door knob open to escape from the man.
“I do not understand why people would want to terrify an animal. That creature is helpless,” Surendran said.
Other animal rights activists have said that the fine was not sufficient as a deterrent to the general public from placing other animals in fear.
The maximum penalty under Section 44(1)(a) is a fine of RM50,000 or one year’s jail, or both.