Malaysia

Noh Omar: Animal Welfare Bill to be tabled in 2013

Rescued cats are seen in cages after they were rescued from the Petknode Pet Hotel in Damansara Damai, September 5, 2011. — File picRescued cats are seen in cages after they were rescued from the Petknode Pet Hotel in Damansara Damai, September 5, 2011. — File picPUTRAJAYA, Aug 13 — The Animal Welfare Bill draft that, among others, will impose a heavier sentence on those who abuse animals, is expected to be tabled in Parliament early next year.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the draft had gone through 12 revisions and amendments since it was raised in November 2010, and will be posted online for a second time beginning today to August 31 for suggestions and comments from the public.

“After considering the response received, a complete draft will be forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Office, after which it will be brought to the Cabinet, and only after it was agreed upon would it be tabled in Parliament,” he told reporters after launching the second online public viewing of the Bill draft here, today.

Noh said the draft was first posted online for 14 days from June 19, and recorded 5,904 hits, in which 2,421 respondents gave complete feedback on the questionnaire and 90.9 per cent of respondents agreed with the draft.

“From the suggestions received from the public in the first posting, three amendments were made to the draft, which were that an annual inspection conducted at premises housing animals, animal testing should only be done if there were no other alternatives and it should be done based on set regulations, and children below 12 years are not allowed to purchase pets without being accompanied by an adult.

“Other suggestions to be considered for insertion is a code of conduct for animal welfare based on its appropriateness of which some of them are currently being, and will be raised,” he said.

Noh said currently the draft suggested a fine for animal abuse of between RM20,000 and RM100,000 or a jail term not more than three years.

The public are invited to continue giving their suggestions regarding the draft Bill through the website http://research.dvs.gov.my/survey, he said.

Noh also said the National Strategic Plan for Animal Welfare was being drafted to steer the country for the next eight years, to raise the value of animal welfare to be on par with other developed nations.

He said it was expected to be launched during the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) third Global Conference on Animal Welfare, which will take place in Kuala Lumpur for three days beginning November 6.

In another development, Noh said a text messaging system was in place for the public to lodge complaints regarding animal abuse.

Complaints may be made by typing “DVS HQAduan” [the complaint] and sending it to 15888. — Bernama

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