Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Animal rights groups protest against dog catching competition

Animal rights groups protest against dog catching competition

Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 07:50am

Stop this cruelty: Representatives from various animal rights group and animal lovers waiting outside the MPS building.©The Star
by Stuart Michael and Geraldine Jeremiah
Photo by Stuart Michael

About 50 people comprising representatives from various animal rights organisations and animal lovers went to the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) in Bandar Baru Selayang on Monday to pass a memorandum to its president Zainal Abidin Azim. The memorandum called for an immediate end to the dog-catching competition organised by the council.

Holding placards that condemned cruelty to animals, the group led by Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) chairperson Christine Chin, waited for Zainal to accept the memorandum but since he was on leave, MPS public relations officer Helda Syima Abu Talab accepted it on his behalf.

Upon receiving the memorandum, Helda assured the group that it would be handed over to Zainal and a meeting would be arranged soon with SPCA.

Despite it being a peaceful gathering, some outsiders were seen shouting insults at the group in order to provoke them, but after delivering the memorandum, the group dispersed quietly.

Chin said that apart from requesting for an end to the competition, the memorandum also contained request for highly effective spaying or neuter initiatives and fines against irresponsible pet owners who abandon their pets.

“We also want an implementation of a smart, humane and effective legislation to promote responsible pet ownership,'' she said.

Apart from Chin, the memorandum was also signed by Malaysian Animal Rights and Welfare Association president N. Surendran, Petpositive president Anthony Thanasayan and Malaysian Association for Responsible Pet Ownership president Dr John Satyamoorthy, who were also present at the gathering.

Asked about Rawang assemblyman Datuk Tang See Hang's proposed meeting with SPCA, Chin said that she had not received any letter or call from Tang's office about the meeting.

Dog handler and professional groomer Noraini Rozaiti Mahamud, 35, when questioned on the issue of the strays posing a threat to residents said that dogs reacted aggressively only when they were threatened and dogs were not likely to attack unprovoked.

“This competition would inherently attract over-zealous residents without experience in handling dogs. This could result in someone getting injured and the dogs being blamed and crucified for attacking a person,'' she said.

Retired Selayang Hospital head nurse Kamala Chelliah, 57 said that she read about the Dog Catching Competition in the papers and turned up to show her dissatisfaction.

Kamala felt that the authorities could come up with a better solution to address this matter.

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