Dog and cat dumping is a cruel act. The culprit can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2015.
However, many Malaysians are unaware of this, that animals actually do have rights. This is one of the main reasons why animal cruelty happens and goes unreported.
On July 16, 2017, the Animal Welfare Act aimed at stopping animal cruelty and promoting responsible pet ownership was enforced. The Act was passed by Parliament in June 2015 and received royal assent six months later.
Advisory council of the Animal Welfare Act 2015, Anthony Thanasayan said dumping an animal was stipulated under Section 29 of the Act.
“This section also includes offences such as possessing without reasonable cause, any animal which is suffering in pain by reason of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other ill-treatment; abandoning any animal in circumstances in which it is likely to suffer from trauma, pain or by reason of relocation, starvation, thirst, injury or illness.
“Other offences that fall under Section 29 include wilfully or negligently causing any animal to go out unattended in any place while it is infected with infectious disease, as well as negligently causing any diseased, disabled or injured animal to die in any place,” he added.
Anthony said if found guilty, the owner was liable to a fine of not less than RM20,000 and not more than RM100,000, or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.
Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) president Ricky Soong said under Section 24 of the Animal Welfare Act, pet owners and license holders have certain responsibilities to do.
“They have to take responsible steps to ensure the needs of an animal are fulfilled which include a suitable environment, suitable diet, to be able to exhibit its normal behaviour patterns and to be housed with or separated from other animals, and protect their pets from pain, suffering, injury and diseases,” he added.
Should the owners fail to comply to this Act, Ricky said they could have their pets taken away and be barred from handling animals for up to one year, while license holders might be barred from holding a license for up to five years, as well as barred from owning pets for up to one year.