THE new RM8.24mil Vector Control and Veterinary Services Centre in Jalan Sungai on Penang island will be fully operational after Chinese New Year next month.
The centre can accommodate 100 dogs, 32 cats, six goats, six cows and three horses.
Penang Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) would implement the TNR (trap, neuter, release) programme at the centre to control the stray population.
“The project began in 2014 but was delayed as the previous contractor could not meet the deadline and was replaced.
“Construction of the centre was finally completed last year.
“The centre has a built-up area of 2,486sq m with an administrative office, a vector operation centre, the Veterinary Department operation centre and an animal handling area.
“It can handle 30 to 40 stray dogs for neutering per month,” he said recently.
Chow said the neutering programme would be done in collaboration with the International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA) from the United Kingdom.
“The neutered strays will then be released to shelters that want to adopt them.
“Owners of some of the animals caught by the council can also look for their pets at the centre.
“Strays that are neutered will become less aggressive,” he said.
Chow said the centre would also become a platform to promote responsible pet ownership.
“This place is the interim location until a larger facility in Relau is open where the IAPWA will come in and neuter the dogs and cats on a larger scale.
“The facility in Relau will tentativelyopen next year as plans are still ongoing,” he said.
As for the mainland, Chow said the Seberang Prai Municipal Council was working with Universiti Sains Malaysia and other organisations to conduct the TNR programme.
In 2015, Penang was hit by a rabies scare which resulted in the culling of about 3,000 stray dogs in the state.