Published on: Sunday, October 06, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: About 60 people took part in the 'Walk Your Dog With Us' programme, as a show of support to the Animal Concern Team Sabah (ACT) causes as well as to celebrate the World Animal Day, at the Likas Sports Complex, here, Saturday.
ACT also distributed its 10-point petition to the participants. The petition is to be submitted to the Chief Minister regarding the Animal Act Law 1953 which, they believe, needs to be reviewed and enforced in the State.
The walk, which charged each participant RM80 or RM60 for early birds, was also held to raise funds for the team's Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) programme aimed at stray dogs and cats in Kota Kinabalu.
ACT spokesman, Sam Lau, said this step is necessary and more humane compared to indiscriminate killing of strays.
"Even a couple of stray dogs, when allowed to breed freely, after seven years, we will have almost a half million strays. So it is better to neuter these strays as it is more humane and practical rather than killing them all," he said.
One of the dogs brought for the event was a female that used to be a stray.
It is now an extremely bright and obedient dog that follows its master wherever the master goes. Other dogs including a pure breed husky, some Labradors, an adorable corgi, various breeds of toy dogs and many more.
The one-mile route took them from the Likas Sports Complex parking lot to the Likas Driving Range and back. Many of the smaller dogs had to be carried by their handlers after a few hundred metres.
Lau added that the event also showed the togetherness of the city folks regardless of race or religion to come out in support of ACT agenda.
"For the past two years, I have been doing my part in saving countless strays.
I have lodged many police reports and made many complaints to the relevant authorities.
But all those just fell on deaf ears.
"This is why I think the petition is necessary. We know the power of the masses and if all of us join our hands together and appeal that these petitions are looked into, I think the authorities would take us more seriously," he said.
Also present during the event were Consumer Front of Sabah President, who is also a member of the National Advisory Council, Nordin Thani, and Secretary General, Hashima Hasbullah Yahya.
"We are here to support this programme. Our president is an important man, and I think he can do a lot with his role in the NAC especially when it comes to the Animal Act Law," said Hashima.
Meanwhile, the society is asking the public to sign the petition which can be downloaded from its website at http://www.actsabah.com.
"We are targeting at least 1,000 signatures before we submit the petition to the Chief Minister," said Lau.
The petition, among others, appealed that the existing Animal Act Law 1953 is extended to cover Sabah as well.
It also appeals that the Act is revised especially because it had never been reviewed since it was first enacted almost 60 years ago and most of the penalty fees are considered dismal and not deterring enough.
The petition proposes a fine of not less than RM100,000 or more than seven years of jail with community work and constant education towards the animal's welfare throughout the jail sentence, or both, on conviction.
"We believe that with harsher penalties, the public will think twice when committing animal cruelty.
Unless they are mentally disturbed, they should be dealt with accordingly and be segregated away from the public for the appropriate punishment and rehab," said Lau.