“Go after rodents, not man’s best friend,” Wanita MCA Selangor tells MBSA

A WANITA MCA leader has expressed concern over the recent plan by the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) to reduce the stray dog population on the streets by conducting a stray dog hunt to catch and kill 500 stray dogs in the area from April 22–24.

Wanita MCA Selangor chairperson Tee Hooi Ling said rather than embarking on an RM30-per-dog-hunted exercise, more effort should be made to overcome rodent infestation in the state.

“The defecation and urine or any contact with these pests can lead to serious public health and hygiene issues like food contamination, infection, disease spread and even fatalities,” she said in a statement.

In 2021, Selangor saw 226 cases of leptospirosis with 10 deaths while from January to April 24, 2022, there were 128 confirmed cases with one death reported.

“These scurrying mammals have various ways to sneak into a building through drain pipes, loading areas and even the front door if left ajar. The rats are also in the ceilings of various departments and come out when the lights are turned off,” Tee noted.

“Hence, more attention needs to be given to tackle the rodent menace. All local authorities should aim for a zero-rodent population for cleanliness to lessen the impacts on public health, rather than create an enemy or be dogged by canines.”

Tee, who is also the Wanita MCA national deputy chairperson, further expressed concern that the city council’s dog-hunt operation might morph into a “witch-hunt” or “pseudo-vigilantism” to simply nab any dogs, including trespassing private residences to loop any collared pets with a licence.

“Wanita MCA fully supports the caution by Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin who urged MBSA to halt its catch-and-destroy stray dogs plan,” Tee remarked.

“Rather than culling four-pawed animals, Her Royal Highness has offered several recommendations such as neutering which can assist to decline the stray population, or to require housing developers to construct animal shelters.”

Tee suggested that local authorities in Selangor and throughout the nation could also cooperate with existing animal shelters or NGOs to deploy a “trap-neuter-release-manage” programme to reduce the number of street animals.

“Similarly, they could also collaborate to encourage adoption programmes whereby the venue hosts could be the animal shelters, compound outdoors of local councils or shopping malls,” she stated.

“It is hoped that not only MBSA or other local authorities in Selangor, but in other states too, will adopt the advice by the Tengku Permaisuri Selangor to encourage a more compassionate society.

“Let us not forget how the adage ‘man’s best friend’ proved precise when their sniffing skills were successfully deployed in search and locate operations at the Batang Kali landslide and Turkiye earthquake disaster sites.”

On April 1, Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin had voiced her disagreement with MBSA’s planned task force exercise and urged all local authorities to look into newer, more holistic approaches towards handling strays.

She also called for a review of the Local Government Development Ministry’s standard operating procedures on managing stray animals. – April 3, 2024


Main pic credit: The Star


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