Melaka CM has now lifted its controversial ban on dogs
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, while speaking to The Star Online, said that people living in terrace homes in Melaka will be allowed to keep dogs "until a win-win solution is reached with all stakeholders."
He added that he has ordered all local councils to continue issuing dog licenses and to resolve the problems arising from "vicious dogs and loud barkings", which, The Star Online reported, "form the bulk of complaints."
CM Idris, who is in Mecca, performing the Haj, reportedly told The Star Online that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and other animal welfare groups would be sought to give feedback and suggestions on how to resolve the complaints.
"Let these groups give us the crucial inputs for us to outline a proper ruling without burdening any parties," CM Idris was quoted as saying by The Star Online.
Previously, a controversial ruling by Melaka prohibited people living in intermediate terrace houses from owning dogs has sparked public outrage, despite the ruling being in force since 2013
Enraged dog owners have started an online petition to protest a "dog ban" which has garnered close to 9,000 signatures within 24 hours.
The online petition, started by Ms. Carol N on Change.org, described the State Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee of Melaka's ban on dog ownership in intermediate terrace houses as "terribly inhumane".
The petition stated that the blanket ruling will result in a culling, whether directly or otherwise, of the dogs as most dog owners would prefer putting their dogs to sleep then giving them up to animal shelters where living conditions are extremely poor.
"Most dog owners will be forced to give up their dogs and many will end up in overcrowded shelters, be abandoned to become strays or (be left) at local council dog pounds where they will be put to sleep or die slowly of diseases," it read.
People affected by the Melaka government's ruling have instead suggested alternate rules that promote responsible dog ownership
Among the responsible dog ownership ideas, it asks that owners be required to spay and vaccinate their pets to reduce unwanted strays and potential spread of diseases.
"Owners should also be required to ensure their dogs do not cause unnecessary disturbances by roaming free or excessive barking," the petition read.
"Dog owners must also train their dogs to not bark excessively or, if they are unable to do so, get their dogs debarked (a surgical procedure to reduce tissue in the vocal chords to lower the volume of the dog’s bark), a procedure that is irreversible, but a much more humane option than giving up a dog to an almost certain death or life on the streets," FMT reported the petitioner, Carol N, as saying.
The petition — which is to be delivered to Melaka Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ismail Othman and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron — further said that the Melaka state government should take action against only those who do not comply by fining them or through some other means, but "forcing them to give up their dogs should be the last resort."
The Change petition also slammed the Melaka government of taking the easy way out by condemning "hundreds or thousands of dogs to a life of suffering" that would eventually lead to early death
"Instead of taking action only on those owners whose dogs create problems for their neighbours, they have chosen to take the 'lazy' way out, condemning hundreds or thousands of dogs to a life of suffering and almost certain early death."
Meanwhile, Melaka Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Ismail Othman said the ban had been approved by the state legislative assembly after the government began receiving complaints from terrace house residents
Melaka residents were previously allowed to keep dogs as long as they obtained their neighbours’ consent, The Star Online reported.
While the new ruling allows only those living in corner terrace houses to keep two dogs, it contradicts clauses stipulated in the new Animal Welfare Act 2015 passed by Parliament recently.
The Star Online reported PAWS Animal Welfare Society kennel manager Edward Lim saying that it could be counterproductive because it might cause owners to dump their dogs, an act that is outlawed by the Act.
Ismail Othman, while saying he was perplexed as to why the issue had suddenly cropped up when the by-law was approved three years ago, added that CM Datuk Seri Idris Haron will hold a meeting with all local councils once he is back from performing the Haj
Did you know there are several breeds of dogs that are considered dangerous and banned from being imported into Malaysia?
On the other hand, in Nepal — during the country's Diwali — a day is set aside to honour and celebrate man's best friend: