CORONAVIRUS | The dumping of pet animals such as cats and dogs have tripled around the city following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO), said Malaysian Animal Association president Arie Dwi Andika.
He said this was based on information provided by community feeders, who reported spotting newly abandoned animals at several locations such as remote industrial and non-residential areas.
He said the irresponsible owners selected these areas on purpose to cover their activities, not caring about the safety and the welfare of the animals.
"For example, an area which usually has five dogs tripled to 18 to 20 dogs yesterday. All these dogs are friendly, in good health, clean and not aggressive,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.
At the same time, Arie also did not rule out the possibility that the pet owners were acting out of fear of infection (from the animals) and not being able to look after them after they had lost their source of income due to the MCO.
"This is not a humanitarian act. Why has the love (for their pets) faded? What is the fate of these cats and dogs who have considered their owners as family members all this while?"
In this regard, he also called on the authorities to implement a microchip identification system as compulsory to help detect owners who dump their animals.
Meanwhile, lawyer Nor Zabetha Muhammad Nor said pet owners who failed to provide proper lodging, healthcare and diet to their pets, can be charged under the Animal Welfare Act 2015.
It is an offence under Section 29 (1) (p) of the Act, which carries a fine not less than RM20,000 and not more than RM100,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, she said.
Keep up with the latest information on the outbreak in the country with Malaysiakini's free Covid-19 tracker.
Malaysiakini is providing free access to the most important updates on the coronavirus pandemic. You can find them here.
Help keep independent media alive - subscribe to Malaysiakini.