Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Animal welfare law must be fair to all, says Tee Yong

KUALA LUMPUR: Any legislation on animal welfare must be acceptable to all, said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

Speaking at a consultation session between his ministry and animal welfare bodies, Chua said any proposed change must also be suitable.

“As we know, members of the public have differing views pertaining to animal welfare,” he said.

The consultation session, held to discuss provisions under the proposed Animal Welfare Bill, was attended by animal welfare organisations from all over the country.

Later, Chua told reporters that his ministry hoped to get feedback from both members of the public and industry players.

“This is because the Bill will affect everyone. It will not only be in relation to pets but to livestock breeding and the animal-related industry as a whole,” he said.

He said the ministry had conferred thrice with the Attorney-General's Chambers to conduct public consultation, with each period lasting two weeks.

On some local councils still resorting to shooting stray dogs despite the Veterinary Services Department's guidelines prohibiting the act, Chua said: “The problem is that these are only guidelines and not enforceable under any Act.”

The proposed legislation, he added, would prohibit the shooting of animals for the purpose of culling except during emergency situations.

The Government, said Chua, would also be formulating the National Strategic Plan for Animal Welfare by the end of the year.

He said the plan would oversee the development of the country's animal welfare for a period of eight years to bring this in line with that of developed nations.

During the event, the department also launched its Animal Welfare Draft Bill website to gauge public opinion on the proposed legislation.

The website can be accessed at

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