PUTRAJAYA: Anyone caught being cruel to animals will face a fine of up to RM100,000 and a jail term of not more than six months under the Animal Welfare Act to be tabled in Parliament next year, Veterinary Services director-general Datuk Dr Abd Aziz Jamaluddin said Monday.
He said the Act covered all animals, including fish and insects, whether owned by individuals or businesses and would define as cruelty the failure to feed them.
"We forget to feed our dog, that's cruelty. We keep it caged and it cannot look for food. We are in the process of defining 'cruelty' to create awareness so people realise that cruelty to animals can be on purpose or unintentional," he told reporters here.
Abd Aziz said the Act will require all premises housing animals to be registered with the Veterinary Services Department, and related business operators with the Malaysian Veterinary Council.
He said the department would monitor the premises every three to four months to ensure that they are properly maintained.
"We will also provide guidelines and a list of offences and other matters related to animal welfare," he said.
"We will carry out campaigns in collaboration with animal shelters to create public awareness," he added
Commenting on a media report on an animal hotel at Damansara Damai in Selangor that allegedly left its cats to starve, Abd Aziz said the owner of the premises can be charged under local by-laws as his licence had not been renewed since 2009.
He said the name of the company will be published on the department's website as a lesson to operators of such premises and as information to the public. - Bernama
Related Stories: Pets saved from hell hotels Submit shelter proposals, NGOs told Dept warns zoos to shape up Students lend a hand with Paws4life' to aid abused pets Circular on humane guidelines to be sent as reminder' Animal activists: Get councils in the act, too Higher penalties for animal cruelty being looked at Global support for anti-animal cruelty petition