What To Do If You Spot Animal Abuse In Malaysia
Animal cruelty is when a person hurts an animal or does not care for an animal responsibly. It can take many different forms, including animal neglect and failure to take care of an animal. If you have witnessed animal cruelty, it’s important that you do something about it. Please speak up as your involvement may be the animal’s only hope.
Here are a few things you should know and you can do if you spot animal abuse in Malaysia.
Know The Law: Animal Welfare Act 2015
The Animal Welfare Act 2015 has been implemented since 1 July. The definition of “animal cruelty” in Malaysian law has expanded in scope from the original 7 in Section 44(1) of the Animals Act 1953 to 21 items listed in Section 29 of the Animal Welfare Act 2015, including mutilation, neglect, shooting for sport, use of cruel equipment and animal fights. People who are found guilty of animal abuse will attract a fine of between RM20,000 and RM100,000 and a maximum jail term of three years, or both.
At the same time, the animal welfare officers don’t need a warrant to search the animal abuser’s house for evidence of abuse. Under Section 40 of the new Act, an animal welfare officer may search and seize your premises without a warrant to gather evidence of animal abuse. Under Section 56 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a warrant card is required. However, the officers can bypass this if they think there’s a chance evidence will be tampered with, destroyed or removed while waiting for a warrant to be issued. Whether or not the officers have a warrant, the owner of the premise has the right to demand the officers to produce the authority card.
Signs Of Animal Cruelty
There are signs to look for when identifying animal neglect and abuse. It’s best to examine the animal and his surrounding environment to determine whether or not he needs help, according to ASPCA.
Physical Signs of Cruelty
1.Patches of bumpy, scaly skin rashes
2.Visible signs of confusion or extreme drowsiness
3.Tight collar that has caused a neck wound or has become embedded in the pet’s neck
4.Untreated skin conditions that have caused loss of hair, scaly skin, bumps or rashes
5.Open wounds, signs of multiple healed wounds or an ongoing injury or illness that isn’t being treated
6.Extreme thinness or emaciation—bones may be visible
7.Fur infested with fleas, ticks or other parasites
8.Weakness, limping or the inability to stand or walk normally
9.Heavy discharge from eyes or nose
10.An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal
11.Signs of inadequate grooming, such as extreme matting of fur, overgrown nails and dirty coat
Environmental Signs of Cruelty
1.Pets are kept outside in inclement weather without access to adequate shelter
2.Pets are tied up alone outside for long periods of time without adequate food or water, or with food or water that is unsanitary
3.Pets are kept in an area littered with feces, garbage, broken glass or other objects that could harm them
4.Pets are housed in kennels or cages (very often crowded in with other animals) that are too small to allow them to stand, turn around and make normal movements
How To Report
First and foremost, you have to gather the evidence. To effectively report an animal abuse, it is crucial for you to have the full address to investigate, animal involved, picture or video evidence, and date and time of occurence. It is possible to file an anonymous report too, but please consider providing your information. When there are credible witnesses willing to stand behind the report, the case is more likely to be pursued – and this is why you should consider to provide your information.
Then, find out which authority is responsible for investigating and enforcing the anti-cruelty laws in your state. In Malaysia, you can report the incidents or suspected cases of cruelty to Department of Veterinary Services (DVS). Always keep a record of everyone you contact and be sure to follow up.
Apart from DVS, you can contact local animal welfare groups such as SPCA if the case does not require immediate attention. Keep in mind that they are volunteers and have limited resources, thus DVS is still the number to call.