Malaysia closes 6 zoos over unsafe, unsanitary conditions

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KUALA LUMPUR: Animal rights activists are praising a government decision to close 6 zoos across the country after they failed to meet the new standards established by the Wildlife and National Parks Department.

The department said that the zoos are being closed after they failed to comply with the new measures and are unsanitary and unsafe for the animals.

They have also not complied with the Wildlife Conservation Regulations 2012, the new regulations regarding the country’s zoos, which came into effect February 1.

The 6 zoos to be closed are Lye Huat Garden in Kedah, Kuala Krai bird park in Kelantan, Countryview Recreation in Pahang, PD Mini Zoo in Negri Sembilan, Taman Kuang in Ajil, Terengganu, and Animal Wonderland at Mines Wonderland in Selangor.

The department said the 6 were closed following examinations by staff at 45 zoos and animal parks across Malaysia.

“All the affected animals will either be released to their natural habitats after a rehabilitation process (for local species) or handed over to other zoos in the country,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Under the new regulations, zoos and animal parks are required to ensure that the welfare, health and safety of the animals are being closely monitored.

The closures also come as another set of regulations are to be established this month, but animal rights activists are tentatively optimistic they will make an impact.

Malaysian Animal Welfare Society president Shenaaz Khan told The Sun newspaper that she believes that without a strong enforcement operation, the laws are meaningless and zoos can continue to treat animals poorly.

Under these new regulations, even forcing animals to ride a bicycle and juggle balls is an act of cruelty to animals because it is not their natural behavior,” she said.

But she fears that without proper government enforcement and ending permits for new zoos in order to focus on the existing zoos and their conditions, these acts will persist.

The new regulations for zoos in Malaysia are in line with international standards, and have garnered the support from animal rights groups and activists, despite the worry over enforcement.

They include minimum cage sizes as well as having quarantine areas and a veterinary clinic or animal hospital with a full-time veterinary on site.

Shockingly, some “animal sanctuaries” in the country do not currently have an on-site veterinary to treat animal injuries.

Also, zoos and other facilities must deliver vaccinations to all animals, “supply nutritious and adequate food, maintain cleanliness and keep a proper medical record of the animals, perform euthanasia when necessary, conduct wildlife shows involving the animals’ natural  behaviour and submit a deposit to the Wildlife Department for the upkeep of animals in the event of a seizure.”

For the country’s local activist community, it is all part of new direction for Malaysia on animal issues and anti-cruelty measures.

“We have long struggled with these issues in Malaysia and finally there is some movement,” Mahathir Abdul Aziz told “I have been to these places and documented the poor conditions. Already, though I see places starting to change how they work and treat animals.”

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Some 700 dogs rescued from slaughter in Thailand

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KUALA LUMPUR: Animal rights activists in Thailand praised the seizure of around 700 dogs who had been caged and ready for transport into Vietnam where they would have been slaughtered and eaten, the Nakhon Phanom Animal Quarantine Center said on Saturday after receiving the animals as part of their recuperation.

Thai police said that they arrested a truckdriver in the Ban Phaeng district on Friday evening and discovered the animals in the back.

Driver Salud Khottakok was transporting the dogs from Sakhon Nakhon to the border in a six-wheel truck when he was stopped.

He reportedly confessed to police of being hired by a Vietnamese investor to deliver the dogs to Ban Phaeng Pier, from where they were to be taken down the Mekong River to Vietnam.

Center chief Chusak Pongpanich said in a statement that the latest batch “took the center’s dog population to about 2,000.

“The shelter has Bt8 million (S$316,800) in donated funds left, but it spends Bt30,000-40,000 a day to care for the dogs,” he said.

He urged people to donate more money, food and medicine in order to assist in the dogs recovering from the traumatic experience.

Animal trade is not uncommon in Southeast Asia, where Vietnamese and Chinese business people often hire neighboring countries out to transport dogs and cats into the country, where they will be slaughtered and served up for dinner.

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Here is some of video clip when the first 671 alive dogs who were rescued from Dog Meat Trade arrived at Nakorn Phanom shelter on Sat.28-July-12. 

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Published on 31 Jul 2012 by 

Please help them as much as you can by sharing story, adoption, or even make the donatation.

More help needed at Soi Dog Foundation:-

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Soi Dog The Movie

The Soi Dog Foundation (SDF) is pleased to announce the release of the full-length feature documentary Soi Dogs, produced by Environment Films. You may view a 3 minute trailer of the film above. The 66-minute documentary is far from the standard charity campaign film. Although it does give an insight into the day-to-day challenges of the foundation, it is also a human story, one that combines tragedy and compassion with humour and excitement. It is inspirational and involving throughout and is suitable for the entire family to watch.

“John and Gill Dalley moved from England to Phuket in 2003, after having visited many times before on vacation. The Dalleys had married in Phuket and decided to come back permanently to retire. Little did they know that instead of a leisurely retirement, they would work harder with Soi Dog than they ever had in England. What they found in Phuket after getting settled was a massive stray dog problem that was growing rapidly due to the growth of Phuket as a tourist destination and a place where Thais from all over Thailand came to find work. The Dalleys knew they had to try to help somehow.”

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Malaysia animal rights activists angered over “weak” cruelty ruling

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s animal rights community is angered and frustrated over a recent court ruling that let off a pair for animal cruelty with only a fine and no jail time.

Activists here told that “cruelty of animals must be punished and made to be a deterrent or we could face an epidemic of animal cruelty.”

Animals deserve more assistance globally, especially in Malaysia.

They were referring to a recent Petknode pet hotel paid who left 30 cats starving, dehydrated and covered in feces during last year’s Hari Raya holidays.

Magistrate Elena Hong Tze Lan let off Shahrul Azuwan Adanan and Yushairi Khairuddin with only a RM200 fine for each of the 30 charges against them after they changed their plea to guilty on June 12.

The magistrate argued she could not sentence them to jail as she was ruling under section 44(2) of the Animal Act 1953, which states that offenders must be given a chance to pay a fine before being sentenced to prison time.

But activists argue that this must be changed, especially considering the pair’s responsibility to the animals and human companions who had left their animals at the “pet hotel.”

“We need to revamp and bolster the laws on the books, obviously, after this case has shown that Malaysians can be cruel and inhumane and only have to pay a small fine,” activist Usmanah Ratak told in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am disgusted by what they did and hopefully the government will take notice of our anger and increase the laws and establish new regulations for courts,” she added.

Shahriza Idrus, a volunteer with the Stray Cat Rescue and Treatment Community Help who had helped rescue the emaciated pets from Petknode’s premises in Selangor last year, was stunned by the light sentence.

“I was quite disappointed. This is one of the biggest cases in Malaysia of animal abuse so why only RM6,000 for both of them? It should be more,” the animal lover, who attended the sentencing at the magistrate’s court here this morning, told The Malaysian Insider.

“This is heartbreaking for animal lovers. Justice should be done for animal lovers in Malaysia,” she said.

Idrus also argued that the penalty was not stringent enough of a deterrent, adding the authorities need to “do something” about the Animal Act.

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