Friday, 29 June 2012

Animal pound needed for strays

Stray animals have been an increasing problem in major cities everywhere and Seberang Prai in Penang is facing the same. With frequent reports of stray dogs biting people near their residential area, the dog catching teams from Seberang Prai Municipal Council are always on the hunt for adult dogs and sadly sometimes puppies as shown in this footage. Citizen journalist, Jimmy Leow showed the video clips to the Head of Health Services Department of the Seberang Prai Municipal Council , Dr Haji Romli and his team at their headquarters at Seberang Prai, Penang. When questioned if the actions taken by the dog catchers were appropriate, Romli defended the way the puppies were handled and destroyed. Romli added that for years, local councils and their dog catching teams have been criticized for their inhumane ways of catching and destroying stray animals. And that is why a standard operating procedure has been established to tackle this issue, even; the method of termination has evolved from shooting to blow pipe and the latest, by lethal injection to the heart. According to Romli, more than 600 stray animals have been destroyed monthly since the beginning of this year, where 80% are dogs. He added that in comparison with 2011, the figure has in fact, doubled up. The fact that Penang does not have a state run pound for stray animals has led the municipal council to destroy strays once they are caught. But not everything is lost; a vacant land owned by the council at Kongsi 13 nearby will soon be allocated as a pound which can hold at least 1,000 strays according to Romli. Romli said the pound will serve as holding area for strays captured. The public can also check if their missing pets were caught and retrieve them from the pound within a certain time frame. Video by Jimmy Leow

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