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Monday, November 15, 2010

Animal news

Monday November 15, 2010
Groups to form animal council

PETALING JAYA: Animal welfare groups will come together in Putrajaya on Nov 25 to form a national council to push for the creation of an Animal Welfare Bill.

Petpositive president Anthony Thanasayan said the formation of the council, which was initiated by the Veterinary Services De­­partment, was propelled by the recent shooting of licensed therapy dog Spunk by Ipoh City Council dog catchers.

“Spunk did it all, even in death. He has spurred us to take action and do something to help all the other animals,” he said in an interview here yesterday.

The council will have its first pro tem meeting on that day.

It was reported that 10-year-old Spunk was shot dead after its 75-year-old owner left it unattended for a while to get toilet paper to clean after the animal.

He said the council’s top priority was the creation of the Animal Welfare Bill.

“This will drastically improve the well-being of animals, especially strays or abused ones,” he said, adding that the council’s formation was awaiting approval from the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.

“I will definitely urge for a special licence to be given to therapy dogs, which forbids dog catchers to grab them off the street or harm them in any way,” said Anthony, who heads the animal-assisted therapy organisation for the disabled and elderly.

He said every aspect of animal care would be discussed by the council, from issues such as slaughtering animals in a humane manner and treatment of livestock to domestic animal care.

Other non-governmental associations taking part in the meeting are the KL Animal Welfare Society, the Ipoh Animal Welfare Society, Noah’s Ark Ipoh and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Ipoh and Selangor.

Anthony said Petpositive and other NGOs would also be meeting with Ipoh City Council officials on Tuesday to present Spunk’s case.

“We will request an end to the shooting of animals and advise the council to implement more educational programmes such as teaching people about responsible pet ownership,” he said.

He added that they would also push for a committee to be formed by the council for canine issues and request that funds be set aside for it to build its own dog pound.