Animal welfare Bill passed in Dewan Rakyat

Nuradzimmah Daim

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat passed the Animal Welfare Bill 2015.

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob told the house that the new law, however, would not replace the Animals Act 1953.

Instead, he said the new law would cover a broader aspect based on the principles on the welfare of the animals.

Clause 29 states cruelty offences include the act of beating, mutilating, poisoning, confining in area that restrict natural movements of the animals, abandoning or the act the owner of allowing such cruelty against the animal carry a minimum fine of RM20,000 and a maximum penalty of RM100,000 fine and three-year imprisonment.

Meanwhile, killing of animals under Clause 30 also states a minimum RM20,000 fine and maximum RM100,000 fine and three-year jail term. The clause contains the provisions that allows the killing of animals in certain circumstances including for the purpose of human consumption; or that the animal is deemed incurable by the veterinary authority; necessary to end the animal suffering; done to prevent imminent danger to human's life or limb; population control by the authority under the law; approved by the animal ethics committee at the end of any research; and for any other reasons determined and certified by a veterinary authority.

Part 3 of the bill deals with the licensing requirements including application and issuance of license; duration, suspension and revocation; as well as circumstances where a person is barred from holding one after being convicted under the law or any of its subsidiary legislation.

Those involved with animal fighting venture are also punishable under the law with a maximum penalty of RM100,000 fine and three-year imprisonment.

The new law also prohibits the selling of animals to those below 12 years old unless accompanied by an adult.