MALACCA: Dog owners in terrace houses in the state will be allowed to keep their dogs until a win-win solution is reached with all stakeholders.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said he has instructed all local councils to continue issuing dog licences and to work on resolving matters relating to vicious dogs and loud barkings, which form the bulk of complaints.
In a message to The Star Online from Mecca, Saudi Arabia where he is performing the Haj, Idris said the onus would be given to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and other animal welfare groups to give feedback and suggestions on how to resolve the complaints.
“Let these groups give us the crucial inputs for us to outline a proper ruling without burdening any parties," he said.
Idris said the issue on putting a limit to dogs reared as pets at terrace houses was first tabled in the state legislative assembly in 2012.
The ruling came into force in the middle of 2013 just as Idris assumed the post of Chief Minister.
“Never mind we don't waste time on who is right or wrong but look into an amicable solution for all parties while not ignoring the welfare of the dogs.
“Let us also look into how to manage complaints made by residents especially neighbours of dog owners with the recommendations from the stakeholders," he said.
Idris said he would be holding a meeting with the local authorities on the matter.
He said the issue was not new as the ruling existed three years ago but “it emerged all of a sudden.”
"I hope any official from the state government agencies who want to make public statements on such issues to do it when I’m in the state and not when I’m overseas.
"More importantly let us now focus on Malaysia Day and strengthening our unity," he added.
Earlier, state Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ismail Othman said four local councils issued 3,013 dog licences this year although the ban on dog ownership has been in force since 2013.
He said the licences were issued on case-by-case basis covering all breeds including American Pitbulls, Rottweillers, Dobermans and German Shepards.
"We have not barred any dog owners from having pets despite the ruling that the intermediate terrace houses are not allowed to have dogs.
"We are going on a case-by-case basis. Local councils do not simply deny licences if the dogs pose no threat to neighbours," he was quoted as saying.
Ismail said the local councils have been approving dog licences for those in intermediate terrace houses if neighbours on both sides were agreeable to it.He said the councils had no choice in some cases as the neighbours objected to it.