Lately, we’ve been hearing news about a lot of pets being abandoned by their owners just because they can’t take care of their pets anymore. However, did you know that it’s actually an offence to abandon your pets? Yep, NST reported that the those who abandon their pets can be charged under the Animal Welfare Act 2015.
According to the advisory council of the Animal Welfare Act 2015 Anthony Thanasayan, the offence and its consequences are clearly explained under Section 29 of the Act.
FYI, the above-mentioned section also stipulates other offences like physical abuse and unauthorised mutilation towards the animal.
Anthony was quoted as saying,
“This section also includes offences such as possessing without reasonable cause, any animal which is suffering in pain by reason of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other ill-treatment; abandoning any animal in circumstances in which it is likely to suffer from trauma, pain or by reason of relocation, starvation, thirst, injury or illness.”
“Other offences that fall under Section 29 include wilfully or negligently causing any animal to go out unattended in any place while it is infected with infectious disease, as well as negligently causing any diseased, disabled or injured animal to die in any place.”
Therefore, if anyone is found guilty of any offences mentioned above, they can be fined for “not less than RM20,000 and not more than RM100,000”.
Not only that, the offender could be jailed for not more than three years and under certain circumstances, they could face both a jail sentence and fine.
On the other hand, Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) president Ricky Soong explained that pet owners and license holders have some responsibilities under the aforementioned act.
Ricky shared that they have to be responsible for ensuring that the animals have a suitable environment and diet. The pets should be able to exhibit their normal behaviour patterns in the environment provided.
The owners and license holders should also make sure that these animals are either “housed with or separated from other animals”. This usually depends on the behaviour patterns of the pets.
They should also protect their pets from any pain, suffering, injury and diseases. Ricky added that if the owners fail to follow these requirements, they can be barred from handling animals or have their pets taken away.
Meanwhile, license holders who fail to comply with the requirements will have their license barred for up to five years and they will also not be eligible to own pets for up to a year.
If you didn’t know, the Animal Welfare Act was passed by the Parliament in June 2015 and then in 2017, it was enforced to encourage responsible pet ownership.
Well, this may come as new information for many of us although the law has been around for a while. Hopefully, with the awareness of this law, more people will treat their pets properly and not abandon them without a care.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family to raise awareness on the issue, especially if they own pets or are planning to!
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