Forum on Handling of Strays

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Ipoh City Council held a public forum recently to discuss how to handle strays. The forum was held at the council auditorium. This came after Noah’s Ark Ipoh, an animal rights group, held a candlelight vigil outside the Chief Minister’s official residence in protest against the Council’s cruel methods of killing and disposing of strays.

Five professionals, all with community-service backgrounds made up the panel with the Council’s Secretary, Dato’ Abdul Rahim Mat Arif as the moderator. The five were veterinarian Dr Ranjit Kaur, founder and treasurer of Noah’s Ark Ipoh, Dr Hassuzana Khalil, State Veterinary Department Deputy Director, Zulkifli Abbas, Klang Municipal Council acting health director and Joy Elia Saga, Ipoh Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) Secretary.

According to Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, who officiated the forum, City Council is not allowed to shoot strays unless they are aggressive and have diseases such as rabies.

Dr Ranjit urged the public to be responsible in caring for their pets. “Avoid unwanted litters as a large portion of the city’s strays were made up of abandoned and unwanted litters.”

Since the Council does not have a pound, pet owners whose dogs are captured cannot claim their pets. Rahim said that the Council was unsuccessful in curbing the large number of strays. The shooting of strays had not reduced the number. One solution is to enlarge the capacity of ISPCA. He promised the society an annual grant of RM10,000.

Tiffany