We have reached another landmark moment in protecting animal rights.
The Animal Welfare Act 2015 that officially came into force on 1 July is not only aimed at preventing animal cruelty, it also endorses responsible animal ownership.
This is an improvement from the older Animals Act 1953 which only penalised cruelty against animals.
The new law now introduced more clauses, including mandatory licences for any animal-related activity.
According to a report by The Star
, owners must ensure that the animals under their care are given proper environment and diet, allowed to exhibit their normal behaviour, housed according to their needs, and protected from suffering.
Animal centre operators are also required to fulfill certain guidelines before being granted a licence to allow monitoring by the Department of Veterinary Services under the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry.
However, the Act will not cover stray animals and will continue to be managed by municipal authorities. Should any NGO or municipal authority choose to take in strays, they must also comply to the rules under the Act.
The department’s director general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam told the news portal that they will send 400 animal welfare officers and trained veterinary officers to carry out the Act and act on complaints regarding animal welfare.
People who are found guilty of animal abuse will face a fine of between RM20,000 and RM100,000 and a maximum jail term of three years, or both.
Nevertheless, Dr Quaza clarified that the Animal Welfare Act 2015 will not be implemented in Sabah and Sarawak because they already follow their own set of animal welfare laws.
We hope that this new enforcement will put an end to any form of animal cruelty once and for all.