An open letter to YB Syed Saddiq

Dear Friends, Kindly help us forward and share this letter with as many people as you can. Hopefully we can make a positive impact to people who can make a positive difference to the lives of street animals.  Thank you very much.

From: Chan Kah Yein <chankahyein@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2022 at 19:01
Subject: Requesting to save the lives of innocent neutered animals in Malaysia
To: syedsaddiq92@gmail.com <syedsaddiq92@gmail.com>

Dear YB Syed Saddiq,

My name is Chan Kah Yein and I am the founder of AnimalCare Society Petaling Selangor (myanimalcare.org).

I am delighted and most impressed to see that you have listed your cats, Toby and Meow Meow, as your priceless assets. Hence, it gives me confidence to make this humble request to you.

I hope this email will reach your eyes and heart.

As you are aware, currently street animals in our country are not often looked upon kindly by our society, especially by those who fear that animals may pose a danger to public health and safety. Hence, they are often regarded as “pests”. Worries and complaints include the rummaging for food in garbage bins, causing rubbish to be strewn about to the spread of diseases. They can also be perceived as a danger to pedestrians and motorists, especially at night as they roam about looking for food and may also cause accidents if they suddenly rush out onto the street.

Hence, there are clearly many people who are unhappy with or fearful of the presence of street animals and will complain to the authorities. Whenever there are complaints, these animals will be captured and destroyed by the local councils. This method has been implemented for decades and yet, it does not solve the problem nor control the street animal population. Capturing the animals and removing them from the community would only create a vacuum whereby new unneutered animals will enter and occupy the space. This is why the problem has never been effectively solved.

What works would be to get these animals neutered and returned to the colony to be managed by compassionate caregivers who will continue to feed and care for them. We coin this method CNRM which stands for Care-Neuter-Return-Manage, also universally known as TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage). The neutered female animals are ear-notched (please refer to attached photo) to indicate that they have been spayed (neutered) and will not breed anymore. The ear-notch is done under anaesthesia during the spaying procedure itself. The neutered male animals need not be ear-notched as the absence of the testicles is easily visible to anyone. Neutering stops the breeding and thus, the population is controlled.

By controlling the population, it is very likely that there will be fewer complaints by the public. Those who previously feared or disliked the presence of street animals would also be happier as the population is now under control. They would feel more comfortable in their respective neighbourhoods. Additionally, it would prevent the spread of disease (if any), accidental bites and decrease the incidence of accidents when roaming strays run across the road. In time to come, maybe people might even begin to accept the presence of CNRM-animals more favourably and live in harmony with them.

A good example of this is Turkey, especially in Istanbul where neutered street animals continue to live on the street but are managed by members of the community. Food stations are set up for these animals and they are neutered and vaccinated, all such efforts fully supported by the government. These animals do not harass people as they have been cared for by kind humans, and they do not roam around looking for food since they are being fed. Since the community manages these animals, they are also vaccinated, reducing the risk of disease. Most importantly, they prevent other strays from coming into their territories and since they have been neutered, their population does not increase and over time, the issue of stray animals is resolved. The Netherlands also successfully implemented TNRM and they are now stray-dog free on the street but neutered cats are still allowed to roam freely on the street. Nearer home, in Thailand, there is no catching policy of street animals by their government and their people are generally very kind to street animals too.

When leaders in the government formulate good and compassionate laws, the people are led by example.

So, as a first step, I am only asking for one thing – would you be interested in initiating a change and amendment in the local council by-laws of our country so that neutered street animals (females with the ear-notch and males without the testicles) will be spared from capture and destruction?  If these by-laws can be amended, it would make more sense and relief for us to continue getting street animals neutered (using our own funds) with the assurance that the neutered animals will not be captured by the councils anymore. Otherwise, it becomes a futile effort in us raising funds to neuter the animals only to have them captured and destroyed.

Since 2009, our society has provided financial aid for the neutering of a total of 11,173 street animals (and counting). Kindly refer to this: https://myanimalcare.org/category/aid-neuter/. Thus, we are not asking for funding, only the change in the by-laws so that our work will not lead to disappointment and futility.

While animals do not vote, animal lovers do. We would really like to see our elected representatives carry out changes that benefit everyone, humans and animals alike. After all, kindness transcends species.

I look forward to hearing from you, YB, as I believe that you have your rakyat’s best interests at heart.

As for the street animals – where they are born is where they belong. This planet is their home too. While Toby and Meow Meow are so incredibly lucky to have a home with you, there are many street animals out there who are not as fortunate. Their home is where they were born – the street. We should allow them to live out their natural lives. We only intervene to get them neutered so that their breeding is controlled.

Thank you for your attention, YB, and I truly wish you all the best.

Best regards,
Dr Chan Kah Yein
on behalf of all street animals in Malaysia
AnimalCare Society Petaling Selangor

 

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