Sunday, September 09, 2007

SPCA Official Media Release

On September 11th 2007 (Tuesday) at 10am, SPCA, PETPOSITIVE, ROAR and other animal welfare organisations will be gathering at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang office to hand over a memorandum to the President of MPS.

The document will call for an immediate end to the competition and urge the municipal to spay/ neuter actively to control the dog overpopulation, formulate and enforce effective legislation to prevent pet owners from abandoning their pets, and embark on educational efforts to promote Responsible Pet Ownership.

We invite all friends of SPCA, animal welfare groups, animal lovers from far and near and members of the media to come and show your support on this important day.

Let's unite in our stand against the inhumane treatment of stray and homeless animals.

Majlis Perbandaran Selayang,

For more information, please contact SPCA Public Relations officer Jacinta Johnson at the SPCA office at 42565312/ 42535179 or at 012-2881421

SPCA News Release - September 5th, 2007

SELANGOR, SEPT 5, 1007 –

Catch more than 150 stray dogs in 6 months and win more than RM10,000 – this is the promise from Majlis Perbandaran Selayang to the residents in that area.

Dato' Tang See Hang officiated the launching of the MPS "Dog-Catching Competition" campaign yesterday at 2pm.

This collaborative effort with the residents is to solve this problem by catching more strays. MPS claims that they have been receiving about 80 complaints every month regarding stray dogs in their municipality.

They say that they have been catching 200 stray dogs every month as part of their animal-control management, but the problem remains unsolved. Since the announcement, SPCA has been inundated with countless text messages, phone calls and e-mails from the concerned public who are shocked by this unorthodox campaign.

Although SPCA understands that animal control is vital and that the local authorities are faced with increasing stray problems, MPS is setting an unhealthy and unethical trend that encourages people to perceive dog-catching as a fun, festive and financially-rewarding sport, not unlike fox-hunting.

SPCA questions the methods that may be employed by the residents, which may cause unnecessary pain and suffering as the dogs may be maimed in the process.

SPCA is deeply concerned that this competition is a knee-jerk reaction to the stray problem, and that more pro-active measures should be implemented such as active sterilisation programs,
differential licensing for neutered and unneutered dogs, responsible pet ownership programs and making abandonment an offence under municipal by-laws.

Catching and destruction of strays is never a workable solution, as the animals caught will always be replaced by a new set of strays if irresponsible owners continue to dump unwanted animals into the streets.

The cost of clearing the street will continue to escalate. The fact remains : it's cheaper and more effective to neuter than to catch and destroy dogs.

SPCA is worried that greedy residents may also resort to catching pet dogs or dogs from other areas besides Selayang to pad their pockets. Furthermore, the residents may get bitten and injured while attempting to capture the strays.

It may backfire and encourage unscrupulous people to breed dogs as it could be lucrative as the competition goes on indefinitely – two unneutered dogs can be the source of 2,048 puppies and dogs in just 4 years.

"Strays are not an animal problem, it's a MAN-MADE PROBLEM. Hence, the prize money could have been put to better use by promoting Responsible Pet Ownership and hosting spay/neuter campaigns instead, which is a humane, cost-effective and long-term solution, " says SPCA Chairperson Christine Chin.

SPCA Selangor has over the years met with various municipal councils to introduce humane dog-catching methods and humane pound management. SPCA and DBKL have established Klinik Kembiri, a highly-subsidised spay/ neuter clinic offering financially-challenged Malaysians highly-reduced spay-neuter fees to help control the over-breeding of cats and dogs, that if not neutered would have added substantially to the stray numbers.

This highly-successful, humane and cost-effective method is practiced by animal welfare organisations all over the world. SPCA urges MPS to use the money wisely and work with us to set up weekly spay/ neuter campaigns and eventually a Klinik Kembiri. Since it's inception in 2003, Klinik Kembiri has spayed/neutered thousands of dogs and cats, and thus prevented the unwanted births of over 20 million animals, which would have otherwise caused a bigger stray problem.

The Department of Vet Services (DVS) must issue guidelines on dog-catching/ animal control management where only properly-trained dog-catchers using humane methods and equipment are employed. The pound where the stray dogs are kept should be well-maintained and provide adequate food, water and space to prevent fighting and overcrowding.

SPCA has lobbied DVS for many years to establish humane guidelines for local councils in animal-control management. The organisation even went to the extent of organising a dog-catching workshop for all Klang Valley municipal councils in 2005.

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