Shah Alam City Council Says It Has No Plans To Kill Stray Dogs After Public Outcry

A notice said the city council was establishing a task force to catch 500 stray dogs in Setia Alam from 22 to 24 April.

Cover image via Farhan Najib/Malay Mail

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The Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has clarified that it does not intend to euthanise stray dogs after a notice by the council announcing an exercise to manage the stray animals went viral

The notice by MBSA, seeking volunteers from the Shah Alam Residents Representative Council (MPP), said it was assembling a task force to catch and kill 500 stray dogs in Setia Alam from 22 to 24 April.

According to the circulated photos, the notice stated that the caught strays cannot be claimed by anyone and would be "disposed of".

Opposing the operation, animal rights group Lawyers for Animal Rights told FMT that MBSA did not have the medical expertise to kill dogs, saying that only the veterinary services department had the authority to do so.

The move was also opposed by many animal lovers and social media users.

Following public outcry, the city council released a statement reassuring the public that it would not harm any animals

In a statement on Saturday, 30 March, MBSA said that any dogs caught will be placed at its shelter before being handed over to Paws Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for further action.

"All the animals placed at the MBSA shelter are taken care of, given food, and housed in an appropriate manner," it said.

Meanwhile, MBSA councillor Simon Siow told The Star that the city council is only planning to catch the strays, and has no intention of killing them.

Siow said the strong words conveyed in the notice were only intended as a stern warning to pet owners.

"While I personally love dogs, we must consider the safety of the public. If stray dogs start to pose a threat, the city council will be held accountable, not the animal welfare organisations," he said.

The council also said it received 3,289 public complaints about stray dogs causing disturbances in the area in 2023, with 445 filed from January to 19 March this year.

However, PAWS said it was neither consulted nor informed about this operation

"We would never agree to the conditions stipulated in the task force notice even if we were consulted or informed beforehand.

"We would like to assert that PAWS will not be accepting any strays caught in this operation," PAWS said in a statement on Facebook on Sunday, 30 March.

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