Sunday, October 23, 2005

Obsolete Laws

Recently, a local daily highlighted a dog abuse case. A German Shepherd (bloody darn good breed i tell ya! I am having one! :P) was abused and neglected till a point veterinarians had to put the dog to sleep to end its misery. Lo and behold, our magistrate court just slapped the owner with a RM100 fine. The end. A dog's life is only worth RM100. The reason for this low penalty is due to Animal Ordinance 1953 which only permits a fine up to RM200 and imprisonment not exceeding 6 months. This law was enacted in 1953 and back then, RM200 was a huge amount. In the year 2005, is this Act relevant? You can't even pay for a single room in our overpriced Cyberia condominiums with RM200.
Besides, The Star used to have a section on SPCA in the Metro. (I am not sure if it's still featured) The sad thing is, SPCA which is suppose to be the protector of pets do not have the power to prosecute pet abusers. They can only go and investigate any abuse cases and forward them to the local municipal councils. It is then up to the municipal councils to prosecute the wrong doers. Based on the track record of our municipal's "efficiency", it's no mystery why many pet abusers get off the hook.
Now it's already a week after the case was highlighted and people are in a furore over the inadequate penalty imposed on the German Shepherd's owner. It's only matter of days before this whole issue is forgotten. The Act will remain unamended and till the next case arises, animal abuses will continue to be neglected for many years to come.
On a sidenote, i have noticed most of the animal abuse highlighted are dog abuse. I wonder if our Government will be jolted into action if cats were abused. Hmmmm...that my friends, will be food for thought!

Photo was taken from The Star Website 18th October 2005

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