Last updated on 20 July 2012 - 09:38am
PUTRAJAYA (July 19, 2012): Public feedback on the draft Animal Welfare Bill 2012 has largely been positive, with 90.9% expressing support for the government’s suggestions that were in the bill.
“After the findings are tabulated, we will put up the revised bill for another public viewing next month,” said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong at a press conference today.
The online public viewing of the draft was for 14 days, from June 19 to July 6, and resulted in 5,094 hits with 2,421 comments on the website.
The draft bill includes licensing of activities on animals as well as promotion of animal welfare in terms of transportation, research, teaching and testing.
It also includes prevention of harm of animals as well as penalties for those who are found committing offences such as intentionally harming animals.
Among the offences suggested include:
1) Serious offence (killing an animal) – Fines not exceeding RM50,000 but not less than RM5,000 or jail of not more than three years, or both;
2) Intermediate offence (harming an animal using poison, etc) – Fines not exceeding RM30,000 but not less than RM3,000 or jail of not more than two years, or both;
3) General offence (causing distress to an animal) – Fines not exceeding RM20,000 but not less than RM2,000 or jail of not more than one year, or both.
Feedback on the topic on transporting of animals was among the highest received during the viewing period with 99.58% responding with a “Yes” to the changes on ensuring the welfare of animals during transport.
However, 79.66% of the respondents disagreed that animals under emergency situations or those that are diseased should be shot.
Chua added that many comments received came from pet owners.
“The response we received were very good, but it can be emotional at times. We have to balance out the comments, but we also encourage the public to continue giving their response for other public viewings of the draft bill,” he said.
The revised draft will be available for viewing for another 14-day period next month, and the feedback will be incorporated into the final draft of the bill which is expected to be tabled in Parliament next year.