WE HAVE all seen animal carcasses left to rot on the road for days or even weeks without being cleared away.
Many animals meet their end and the sight of their bloodied or stiff bodies slowly decomposing by the roadside is unpleasant to say the least.
Motorists caught by surprise with no time to react may run over it again, contributing to the mess and guilt. While those who avoid it in time without getting into an accident, may just be lucky that they did not endanger their lives and that of others in the process.
A regular commuter on Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway B. Jayanthi, 31, said it was common to see carcasses of monitor lizards, dogs and monkeys along the stretch.
“The carcass will be left to rot where the animal died. Somehow most carcasses will be left by the roadside away from traffic.
“But on Jan 29, as I was driving on the fast lane going to Kuala Lumpur past a toll plaza, I narrowly escaped running over a dead animal but drove over the bloodied road.
“I was horrified with the idea of having blood on the car tyres and washed my car that day,” she said, adding that when she drove past the stretch again she saw the carcass still in the same spot.
“These carcasses are also obstructions on the road and dangerous to motorists. They should be removed as soon as possible.
“Such scenes on television are preceded by warnings for viewers’ discretion but nothing is done by the authorities when it happens in reality; children and pregnant women will have to see it,” he said.
Motorist P. Susila said she saw a dead dog decompose on Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang in December last year until there was nothing left.
“I use the road almost daily and saw the carcass of a dead dog every day until there was no more trace of the dog,” she said.
A Petaling Public Works Department (JKR) officer who declined to be named said those who maintained a stretch of road was responsible for clearing animal carcasses.
“It can be the landowner, JKR, the local authority or concessionaires depending on the location.
“For roads maintained by JKR, the response time to clear it is within 24 hours from receiving the report.
“Reports can be made by our patrol team that goes on rounds four times a week – at least twice in the day and twice at night on every stretch we maintain.
“Even if we get a complaint for areas beyond our jurisdiction, we will channel it to the right authority,” he said.
JKR has 15 channels to lodge a complaint. Among the choices are via aduan.jkr.gov.my website, SMS JKR “complaint” to 32728, hotline 03-2618 8400/8401 or 1 300 888 557 or facebook.com/jkr.malaysia
Malaysian Nature Society president Henry Goh said while it was natural for wildlife to cross a particular stretch, animals in the city do it for food.
“Wild animals do it almost instinctively. They may have learned from their parents. Wildlife crossing the highway is also instinctive.
“But for stray animals, it is more to do with searching for food. And road kills happen as a matter of course with fast-moving traffic plying the road or at night where visibility is poor,” he said.
Edward Lim, manager for PAWS, an animal shelter, said the authorities should be proactive in clearing carcasses because it was too dangerous for the public to do.
“I have personally picked up a dead cat from the middle of Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong.
It must have been dead for a few days as the stench was unbearable.
I picked it up and put it at the side of the road and lodged a complaint with Petaling Jaya City Council, but I did not follow up on this so I do not know what happened after that.
“Similarly, some of PAWS staff picked up a dead dog from the busy road in front of our shelter in Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang last year and we disposed it.
“Many people have empathy but it is very dangerous to stop on a busy road to pick up the carcass, and if it was decomposed it is more difficult for motorists to put it into their car,” he said.
Winnie Lau Choy Sze, founder of Cherish Life, another animal shelter, said many factories and construction sites keep stray dogs for security purposes but do not look after them.
“Often they are not fed and have to roam the streets to look for food.
“I have also heard of people dropping off their pets on the roads and highways to get rid of it for good.
“We will not have so many strays if people are more responsible pet owners,” she said.