The Housing and Local Government Ministry invited three animal welfare groups to participate in its workshop to formulate the initial amendments to the local councils’ dog licensing by-laws.
Since each local council had its own by-law, the Selangor model was used to streamline local council legislation pertaining not only to the licensing of dogs but other relevant matters.
The three NGOs invited to participate in the workshop was the Selangor SPCA, Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better and Save A Stray.
We were very happy that the ministry as well as the other government bodies understood that there was a need for a more humane approach in regards to dogs – strays or otherwise.
Some of the proposed amendments included relooking at the definition of owner. In the past definition of a dog owner included those who fed dogs but the ministry said this ought to be changed given the large number of people who fed strays.
Ministry officials felt that it was unfair to implicate feeders – which would result in them being compounded – in the event the dog found itself ‘in trouble.’
This definition could also be the reason why some people feared to feed strays.
We felt the change was necessary as we would need the feeders to continue feeding when TNRM is implemented.
We also believe the ministry agreed to the change of the interpretation of the definition ownership because NGOs had explained in depth about TNRM as well as the importance of feeders during a previous meeting.
The NGOs present also pushed for residential premises to be prohibited from being used for commercial breeding purposes.
We also asked that laws must be formulated dictating that breeders need to apply for individual license for each dog that they owned and the fee must be as expensive as possible.
Currently breeders need to only get one license for breeding purposes. We also asked that the permits/licenses issued by local councils to pet shops to sell dogs and cats should be reduced.
However, we were told this came under the jurisdiction of another department. (We will go that particular department to moot that request soon.
We are very happy that the government is now also of the opinion that there is a need to have better and more humane local council by-laws when dealing with dogs.
Besides NGOs and ministry officials, the workshop was attended by several local councils and city halls including MPPJ, MPSJ, MPK, and DBKL among others.
Our combined efforts in ensuring the government is made aware of the wants and needs in the area of canine welfare are finally on its way of being achieved.