Let’s mark Prevention of Animal Cruelty month

ANIMAL welfare matters have long been ignored. There have been many cases of pets and wildlife being treated inhumanely, locked up in tiny cages or tied to short leashes and left in the hot sun. Even pet shops place their animals in small cages, with barely any room for them to move.

The recent case of a pregnant cat being brutally killed, as reported in The Star (“Woman held for allegedly killing pregnant cat”, Dec 31,2020; online at bit.ly/star_killed), is definitely an inhumane act that must not go unpunished. I have no words to describe the pain the poor creature would have experienced.

This and other previous cases of animal cruelty should be a wake-up call for the nation to be more concerned about animal welfare issues in our country. Animal abuse is a sadly overlooked issue that can affect not only pets but also livestock, circus animals and animals used in laboratories. However, here are a few things that we can do to raise awareness of this issue.

Firstly, efforts should be made to work with the Education Ministry to run educational campaigns in preschools and primary and

secondary schools to inculcate love and care for animals from young. By educating the younger generation, we will be able to create a compassionate society that cares for and loves animals.

Secondly, you can volunteer at a local animal shelter. Volunteering your time to help animals could be one way of creating awareness of this issue. If you are not able to spare the time, do consider donating to a shelter or a respectable charity that works to raise awareness of and prevent animal cruelty.

Many countries have designated April as the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month with the tagline “Go Orange for Animals”. It may be timely for Malaysia to do likewise. During the month, wearing orange and posting orange paw-printed ribbons on social media is a way to show support for efforts to stop animal cruelty. This can be promoted to make a difference in our community.

Finally, reporting animal cruelty is of utmost importance. If you witness an act of animal cruelty, do not just turn a blind eye. Animals cannot speak up for themselves, so we must be their voice. Do call the police if you are in doubt about what to do. Guidelines must also be introduced for the authorities on how to act if such complaints are received. There must also be uniformity in law enforcement to protect animals. And the Animal Welfare Act 2015 must be implemented nationwide.

Finally, spread the word to the community around you that we must put a stop to all forms of animal cruelty. More people must be made aware of the seriousness of this issue. The more people who are willing to protect the rights of animals, the better. I hope that by implementing all these, we will pave the way towards a more compassionate world for domesticated animals as well as those in the wild.

TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE , Patron, SPCA Selangor

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