By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, July 26: Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) chairperson Rebecca D’ Cruz agrees that the public should not feed stray animals including dogs and cats.
She pointed out that the local council by-laws which were erected in the 60s with regards to animal cruelty only stress on the responsibilities of the pet owners such as no dumping of pets in public areas, leashing the pets when bringing them to public areas, compulsory vaccination and provision of proper shelter for the pets.
“There is no by-law stating that the public should not feed the strays. However, from the beginning since the outbreak of rabies, we have told the public not to do that.
“Feeding the strays has never been an issue until now because the strays are linked to rabies,” D’ Cruz told DayakDaily.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has today urged all relevant authorities to look into the by-laws to see if any action could be taken against those feeding stray dogs in public places.
This measure came following seven cases of dog attacks at the Reservoir Park which caused the Sarawak government to consider a special operation against strays in different parts of Kuching including Reservoir Park and other major towns in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, D’ Cruz pointed out a disappointing fact that the population of the strays went up when rabies first broke out.
“When the outbreak first started, many dumped their dogs because they were scared,”she shared.
“And despite many calls, many continue to leave their dogs roaming outside, even though we told them not to. That was the situation that we have,” she added.
With SSPCA now operating at its full capacity with 300 animals and eight staff, D’ Cruz admitted they could no longer take in anymore strays.
“To solve the problem of strays, it all boils down to pet owners being responsible,” she emphasised. — DayakDaily