Stricter enforcement of laws needed to curb strays

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KUCHING: There would be fewer strays and neglected animals in the urban areas if council by-laws are strictly enforced and pets are neutered.

Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) president Datin Dona Drury-Wee called for balanced by-laws, saying it’s inhumane to keep dogs leashed or caged for long hours.

Moreover, the difficulty in Sarawak was that many areas did not have fences, such as in the villages, and the canines were allowed to roam about.

Commenting on the possibility of local council by-laws being amended to deal with pet owners who continually let their dogs loose, she said SSPCA had been appealing to councils to stringently enforce existing by-laws.

“The by-laws allow the councils to take the animals and hold them for 48 hours, giving the owners the chance to pay a fine and get their dogs back.

“They can make the vaccination against rabies compulsory for all dogs. Then if the owner can show proof of anti-rabies vaccination then they should be allowed to reclaim their pets.

“The owners may be instructed to observe their animals for two weeks after the return of the dogs, to make sure they didn’t get exposed to any rabid dogs whilst they were outside the compound,” she told New Sarawak Tribune.

During the society’s educational talks about responsible pet ownership, she said they would always remind owners that a council licence didn’t mean they (pet dogs) had the licence to roam outside.

The society hoped the Veterinary Department and councils could do more microchipping of pets, Dona said.

She said this would allow lost pets to be returned to their rightful owners.

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