Monday, April 26, 2010

Amend archaic Animal Act 1953 - The Star Saturday April 24, 2010

We read with great interest the article contribute by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye in The Star on Saturday (page N57) on 24 April 2010. For those of you who misses it, we would like to share it out here.

BEING an animal lover, I have been following closely issues concerning animal welfare, particularly on acts of cruelty to animals.

I applaud the many NGOs and animal welfare activists who have been championing the cause of animal welfare and working hard to draw the Government’s attention to amend the archaic Animal Act 1953 and make it relevant to current needs and challenges.

I fully understand the calls and aspirations by these activists for I myself have several pets in my home which I regard as members of my family.

I wish to associate myself with the numerous calls to the Government to act without further delay and introduce amendments to the Animal Act 1953 (2006 Amendment) to provide for deterrent punishment against those who are involved in acts of animal cruelty and abuses as well as to better enhance animal welfare.

Poor enforcement of an archaic law by the authority concerned is largely responsible for the rise in animal cruelty cases.

Besides seeking urgent amendments to the Act, more can be and should be done to educate the public on animal welfare and pet ownership so that they fully understand their responsibilities and help minimise acts of abuse and cruelty to those animals.

State Governments and local authorities also have an important role to play in animal welfare by providing land to be used as animal sanctuaries where all captured strays will be homed and looked after.

Municipal dog pounds must act to improve the deplorable conditions dogs are kept in. Catching strays must be done humanely and not in a cruel manner.

Animal welfare organisations should continue to pursue animal welfare issues by involving their elected representatives to raise such issues in Parliament.

The authority concerned had several years ago spoken of the need to amend the Animal Act 1953 and other related laws but nothing substantial has been done thus far.

I call on the Veterinary Services Department which is the custodian of animal welfare to brief the minister concerned on the urgent need to monitor animal welfare issues and introduce relevant provisions to minimise acts of animal cruelty and abuse.

The animals that share our planet are a part of us. It is our moral duty to protect them from harm and abuse.

On animal welfare, Mahatma Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a Nation can be seen by the way it treats its animals.”


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