Remembering Sheena

Stop Animal Abuse in Malaysia.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Malaysia's Shame Is Known Around The World

Letter below published in Malaysia Kini. Those who would like to know update on the dog abused by municipal council agents as published in Wani's story in the STAR entitled 'Dog Catchers Acted Cruelly, Alleges Rescuer' please go to:

Dog-catching: Malaysia's reputation at risk

James Hogan | Nov 17, 08 3:17pm

I would like to comment about the recent report of alleged cruel treatment of a stray dog by a team of dog-catchers employed by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council in Selangor, Malaysia but I would first like to explain why an international animal welfare organisation has taken an interest in this issue.

The Mayhew Animal Home & Humane Education Centre has been rescuing and caring for abandoned and unwanted animals in London since 1886 and today our work extends to places as far afield as Afghanistan, Russia, Romania and Algeria, where we advise city governments, provide special training for veterinarians and animal management personnel and promote ‘best practice’ across a wide spectrum of animal welfare activity.

We have a network of contacts across the globe and in recent times we have received an increasing number of disturbing reports from Malaysia about the treatment of animals there, especially regarding the issue of stray companion animals.

The latest report we have received from Selangor is about the dog which was allegedly beaten and injured as he was apparently forced through the railings of a locked gate by dog-catchers working for the Subang Jaya Municipal Council..

We believe the dog is now being kept in the local dog pound and requires veterinary treatment for its injuries, which should at the very least raise searching questions about the methods used in catching it.

I understand that the incident has been reported to the Puchong police and, while one does not wish to pre-judge any investigation, I have to say that this is not the first time that concerns about the operational practices of KL's dog-catchers have been brought to our attention.

Apart from the complaints of local animal welfare activists in KL, we have also received a number of critical independent reports from contacts in Europe and Asia after they had visited Kuala Lumpur on business or as tourists.

The concerns raised include the excessively rough methods used by the dog- catchers and the primitive conditions observed at the local dog pounds.

From a purely professional point of view, I would be interested to know what selection procedures are applied when local councils recruit staff to carry out this work and, crucially, what level of training is provided?

Malaysia is a successful country that thrives on international commerce, tourism and finance and has a right to be proud of its achievements in a fiercely competitive world.

However, Malaysia's image abroad is in danger of being tarnished by the negative impressions left with visitors to Kuala Lumpur when they witness stray companion animals being treated without respect or compassion, especially when this is done by the very people officially responsible for them.

The Kuala Lumpur Tourism Action Council website waxes lyrical about the joys of visiting KL, exclaiming: ‘KL offers a wholly unique experience to visitors.’

As someone who has a great affection for Malaysia and its people, I am sad to say that the individuals who contact us about distressing animal welfare issues after they have visited KL make it very clear that they have had ‘a unique experience’ that is very far removed from the image projected by the Tourism Action Council and is most assuredly one they do not wish to repeat.

The writer is attached to the International Department, Mayhew Animal Home & Humane Education Centre, London.


  • At 1:01 PM, Blogger mark tan said…

    Sadly Shoba these things do not suprise me anymore. Its becoming all to common here in bolehland. Ipray for those who commited this act of cruelty...not in a good way of course.


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