Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Brunei Town

Tough law needed to tackle stray animal issue

The issue of stray animals is nothing new; as a matter of fact, it has been brought up so frequently that I’m amazed not much has been done to resolve it.

Take for example the frequency of roadkills, which is most likely tied to the increase in stray animal population. Not only is it a danger to motorists, who have to swerve to avoid driving over them, it is an eyesore, especially for those of us who regularly travel with young children.

My question is: Who exactly is responsible for keeping an eye on the stray animal count?

While I applaud animal welfare groups for tackling the issue head-on with their rescue efforts, they often lack the resources to make a significant difference. They depend too much on public donation to keep themselves afloat to have extra fund to promote their missions to the wider community.

Perhaps that’s where the authorities ought to come in and support these non-profit organisations. The population of stray animals is only going to increase if irresponsible individuals continue to discard their unwanted pets in wild abandon. Therefore, the only way forward is to introduce a tougher law to penalise those caught leaving their pets on the roadside.

We need a makeover of our collective consciousness regarding animal welfare in the country.

Without a proper law in place, irresponsible pet owners will carry on abusing or dumping their animals when the mood strikes, while animal lovers will continue to help helpless in the situation.

While such a law would not reduce the stray animal population overnight, it would at least make people consider the long-term cost of keeping a pet, as opposed to the sad-but-common practice of impulsively taking home an animal for the simple reason that it is cute.

Broken-hearted

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