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 Bikyamasr.com 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 Bikyamasr.com 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.

News Link:-http://www.bikyamasr.com/71036/malaysia-animal-rights-activists-angered-over-weak-cruelty-ruling/