Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ban Pet Shops From Selling Animals

Below is my letter that was published in The Star, Sept 21, 2006. This is a follow-up to Cynthia Hassan's letter that was published in The Star on September 13 (posted here also in an earlier blog)

Ban Pet Shops From Selling Animals

I REFER to C. Hassan's letter, “Follow Saudi lead in banning cat and dog sales(The Star, Sept 13).

In Malaysia, there are no guidelines for breeders or pet shops. Many people who have bought puppies from the shops find the pets having hip and joint problems a few years down the line because the shops may have bought them from unscrupulous breeders.

Last year, a cat breeder was charged in court for neglecting four of his cats and brought them misery in a house he rented, “Witness: Stench was intolerable” (The Star, Nov 25).

These cats were kept in cages. Enforcement officers who came to confiscate them found the cages full of faeces and the smell so unbearable they had to go out several times for fresh air.

Photographs taken showed the cats were in a pitiful condition. Their faces were disfigured and they had bald spots all over their bodies.

We are encouraging such breeders to mushroom everywhere whenever we buy the animals from pet shops.

I, for one, never buy anything from a pet shop. I even buy my pet food from veterinarians.

Early this year, the Remembering Sheena Campaign sent a proposal to the Housing and Local Government Ministry, urging it to shut down pet shops that sell animals.
These shops should only be allowed to sell pet food, bowls, leashes, toys and vitamins but not animals.

I have seen in a Petaling Jaya shop many colourful birds caged up while the larger ones are chained to perches.

I wondered if anyone has ever checked whether some of these birds are on the Convention on International Trade in Engendered Species (CITES) list.
It is a disgrace that in Malaysia even legitimate places are keeping endangered animals.

One of them is the Johor zoo, which has been illegally keeping an endangered orang utan for 10 years but it has faced no action. If legitimate bodies like zoos can break the law without facing the consequence, how can we expect pet shop owners who are motivated by monetary gains to act any better?

The Remembering Sheena Campaign.


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