KUALA LUMPUR: A contract worker who killed a cat by placing it in a dryer at a self-service launderette was sentenced to 34 months’ jail and fined RM40,000 by the Selayang Sessions Court here today.
A video recording of the act had gone viral on social media.
Judge Rasyihah Ghazali handed down the sentence on K Ganesh, 42, after finding him guilty of performing an act that caused unnecessary pain and suffering to the cat.
In her judgment, she said the prosecution had succeeded in establishing the case beyond any reasonable doubt.
She ordered Ganesh to serve the jail sentence from today, and to serve another four months if he failed to pay the fine.
“In this case, the accused was the person who put the cat in the dryer and then locked it. I hope this sentence will serve as a lesson to the accused and the public to not be cruel to animals,” she said.
However, the court allowed a stay of execution of the sentence following an application by Ganesh’s lawyer, S Muthuveeran, to appeal to the High Court, but increased Ganesh’s bail from RM12,000 to RM20,000.
Earlier, Selangor Veterinary Services Department prosecuting officer Roslan Mohd Isa requested the court to impose a heavy sentence as the crime had gone viral and angered a lot of people.
“The case involved a domestic cat that did not pose a threat to the accused. The accused has no respect at all for life and does not regard the animal as also having the right to live,” he said.
Ganesh was charged with another man with causing unreasonable suffering to a cat at a launderette at Taman Gombak Ria in Batu Caves here between 12.54am and 1am on Sept 11 last year.
The charge, framed under Section 29 (1) (e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2015 and punishable under Section 29 (1) of the same Act and read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, provides a fine of up to RM100,000 or imprisonment for up to three years or both, upon conviction.
It is the first case to be prosecuted under the law since it was enforced in July 2017.
The case was exposed after CCTV footage, which showed three individuals killing the cat, went viral on social media.
The act was condemned by the public, and the Malaysian Animal Association reported the matter to the police.
On Jan 17, taxi driver A Mohanraj, 42, who also appeared in the video, was sentenced to two years’ jail after he changed his not guilty plea to guilty.
S Satthiya, 27, a friend of Mohanraj, was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.