The Pasir Gudang Municipal Council has recently come under public scrutiny for organising a ‘dog hunting festival’.
According to a poster issued by the council that went viral after being widely-circulated by angry Malaysians on social media, the council is offering members of the general public RM55 for every dog caught as part of its stray eradication exercise.
However, the council added a clause noting that the dogs had to be handed over alive as only the council and the council alone has the jurisdiction to euthanise them.
The ‘stray dog hunting festival’, which will run effective from Nov 1 to Dec 31 2016 has come into the attention of Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar who slammed and condemned the council for their ‘exercise’.
“We have the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for a reason. You don’t go around and put down dogs. This is what happens when you invite them to a SPCA event and they don’t understand Tuanku Permaisuri’s speech which was in English. This is very disrespectful,” said Tunku Idris Iskandar.
According to Johor Bahru SPCA vice president Jacqueline Gomez, Tunku Idris Iskandar was refering to a speech by Johor Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah on May 28.
Gomez said that Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah had spoken about showing compassion towards animals at the tea party which was organised by SPCA Johor Bahru.
She added Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofia had also said there is nothing in the Koran which encourages the public to indiscriminately kill animals, especially dogs and cats.
“Her Royal Highness urged all Johoreans to be more compassionate to all animals,” said Gomez.
Gomez added that she is deeply disappointed in the discrimination against dogs yet again by the local authorities.
“Local councils should understand there is no quick fix to the mounting numbers of stray cats and dogs. Sending them to their deaths is not the solution and such actions like offering money for stray dogs reflect badly on us Malaysians as a community”, she said.
Gomez said everyone must take some responsibility in helping to reduce the stray animal population.
“Pet owners should spay or neuter their pets and local councils should assist animal rights organisations with the spaying and neutering of stray cats and dogs,” said Gomez adding that this method will see a gradual decrease in strays.
Meanwhile, canine welfare project Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) rescue coordinator Irene Low said offering the general public money for every dog they turned in to the council could create many ‘shady’ situations.
“There will be certain parties that might go on a dog hunt and capture even pet dogs for the generous bounty offered,” she said.
Low added catching and culling has proven to be very ineffective in stray management and local councils should stop wasting public money by continuing with such projects.
“They should use the money to implement Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage exercises which have more efficacy in stray management,” she added.
Cited from The Star