We refer to the news item ‘NEWSFOCUS – Banting Murders’ in the New Straits Times of September 21.
We, a group of animal lovers of the horse-racing fraternity of the Perak Turf Club in Ipoh, were extremely shocked and aggrieved to read about the senseless murder of the 9 dogs, which were – it pains us to note – healthy animals callously put down by the Kuala Langat District Council, and justified by its President Abdul Razak Jaafar on the grounds that “it was done according to procedure”.
We commend the various organisations for their prompt and rightful response to the outrage, and thank the Malaysian Animal Welfare Association President, Mr. Shenaaz Khan for his insightful comments on the same matter. His response, “If killing cattle and poultry is a crime when one is hungry, then we should be shot too”, is instructive and strikes a chord with all of us. We fully support his view that ‘a law for one is a law for all’. This putting down of innocent lives, be it human or animal, is so very inhumane and must be roundly condemned. It is so unbelievably obnoxious and disgraceful, and contradicts all the good values that human beings represent, as superior creations of God. Only animals ferociously kill, but that too only, we emphasize, only to appease their hunger. We certainly reject the Council’s hapless post-incident response, in trying to defend this indefensible, in countering that it had also lodged a police report, alleging that the dogs had killed other livestock on the farm.
As animal lovers, we are aware that the poor dogs were hungry and neglected – there was no one to feed them, and no one thought of feeding them when the men at the farm were captured – and thus behaved and reacted aggressively when approached. Have the authorities exhausted all avenues before the decision to destroy was made? We think not. Why was the SPCA, the Department of Veterinary Services, PAWS or a host of other animal welfare organisations not contacted? These questions beg for answers! Normal wisdom would have guided the Local Council to enlist the help of SPCA or other voluntary service organisations, and sensible and humane action would have been taken to care for the animals until they mellowed with time and love, and then put up for adoption. The dogs were pure breeds, and we have no doubt that there could be no shortage of takers willing to adopt them as guard dogs or pets.
We hope this tragic and unfortunate episode serves as a reminder to all well-meaning Malaysians, and make us adopt more humane and compassionate measures when dealing with animals in future. “The greatness of a Nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Respect for life, be it human or animals, is the calling of ALL religions. Why should there be this hostility towards dogs in this c0untry? A re-evaluation of values is what is needed here.
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