GEORGE TOWN, Nov 23, 2015:

Independent dog rescuers and animal rights NGOs here are accusing the Penang state government of simply culling dogs to wipe out strays in the state despite Penang having been declared rabies-free.

A group of about 100 dog lovers gathered outside the Penang City Council dog pound in Jalan Sungai, here and demanded for Penang to stop the senseless killing of dogs.

The visibly distraught group also marched all the way from Jalan Sungai to Komtar to hand over a memorandum, urging the state government to stop cruelty towards animals.

Some were seen going down on bended knees, imploring to the Penang state government to stop the killing of stray dogs while some brought along their furry friends to show support.

The group’s spokesperson, A. Vaneytha said that she has evidence that the killing was still ongoing despite Penang being declared rabies-free now.

“This is just Penang’s short cut way of getting rid of strays to achieve its zero-stray population aim.

“This is just a short cut which is very inhumane.

“All living things deserve to live,” she said before marching off to Komtar.

She also claimed that the Penang state government had refused to let people adopt strays and instead resorted to killing them.

Vaneytha also urged for public adoption to be allowed to make the MBPP dog pound accessible to the public who wished to adopt.

“I demand to know why the public are not allowed in and to adopt.

“The main reason dogs are caught is to get them off the streets, not to kill them!”

She also stressed on promoting the TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return/Rehome) method which she said had been proven to be effective in other countries.

“Killing of street dogs in Penang has been going on for decades and we are still at square one as the solution used over the years is not a viable one.

“If TNVR is implemented it will decrease the stray dog population over a period of time until we get a manageable level and it also prevents rabies,” she added.

Vaneytha expressed hope that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would consider all the suggestions and allocate some budget to support and help local NGOs in carrying out TNVR.

“We also want to see the abolition of the RM100 fine for the removal of each dog from the council pound as this was very unfair.

“Anyone removing a dog from the council pound is doing the state and community a favour.”

Early last month, Lim revoked the order against rabies infection declared on Sept 15, bringing the culling exercise of stray dogs in the northern state to an end

This was because the state has not recorded any new rabies cases in dogs since Sept 21.

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