LABUAN: The Department of Veterinary Services today revealed a statistic, showing a jump of 30 per cent from 510 in 2017 to 662 cases last year, in the number of animal abuse cases across the country.
The steady increase of 10 per cent from 463 was recorded since 2016 compared to the 2017’s figure and more than 90 per cent of these cases involved mainly dogs and followed by cats.
The increase in the number of animal cruelty cases and lodged to the department was chiefly due to the increase awareness among the community at large against the animal discrimination.
Its Director-General Datuk Dr. Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said as of this year (Jan-June), at least 190 cases had already been recorded with a total fine issued amounting to RM12, 500.00 from five cases brought to court.
He said the total fine issued to the offenders last year was RM71, 200.00 compared to RM15, 000.00 in 2017.
“Looking at the number of cases is quite worrying but it was due to the awareness among the people on the need to address the animal cruelty and discrimination in the country,” he said at a press conference after officiating the Module of Early Education on Animal Care and Welfare at the Financial Park Complex here today.
The publication of the module, which was in collaboration between the Department of Veterinary Services and Department of National Unity and Integration, was the starting point of the two departments to impart animal care, handling and welfare early education on children in the pre-schools, before extending it to the primary and secondary schools as part of the co-curriculum subjects.
Dr Quaza advised people at large not to indulge in animal cruelty as members of the public regardless of race and religion are now equipped with smart phones and could easily capture their cruelty act and make it go viral.
“As we receive the complaints furnished with video-taped evidences, that make our investigation run smoothly and take action accordingly,” he said.
He reminded with the deterrent sentence of 20 years jail and higher fines under the Animal Welfare Act 2015, which are deemed as heavier penalty compared to cases of causing injuries on human, the animal cruelty must be stopped.
On the animal-borne diseases, his department has classified the rabies virus especially in Sarawak was still the menace in the society, big challenge to his department and that it was always prioritise the preventive measure so as the outbreak could be addressed effectively.
“For instance, the African swine fever virus, we must be fully prepared for the possible outbreak into our country, and preventive measures are being taken for effective solution,” he said.