JOHOR BARU - Two councillors want disciplinary action to be taken against enforcement officers who bludgeoned stray dogs recently.
They also want a review of the procedures used to get rid of strays within the Central Johor Baru Municipal Council's (MPJBT) jurisdiction.
Several councillors were shocked at the actions of the officers and said they would raise it with their council president.
Councillor Tan Tuan Peng said the actions of the enforcement staff tarnished the council's image.
"We are a council with a 4-star rating. How can we condone such inhumane action by our enforcement staff?
"I hope action is taken on the officers," he said in an interview.
Tan, who acknowledged that stray dogs were a problem, said there should be a more humane way to dispose of them, including using lethal injection.
He said it was time to reconsider a past proposal to neuter and release strays that had been rejected because of the high cost involved.
The Star had earlier reported on a video clip - showing enforcement staff inhumanely putting down stray dogs at the back of a warehouse in Jalan Makmur, Skudai - which had gone viral online.
Council president Sallehuddin Hassan admitted that the incident as a "terrible mistake" and said the council would take the matter seriously.
Third-term councillor S. Sivasanmugam, who supported taking action against the officers, suggested a special committee be formed to tackle the matter.
Councillor Lim Soon Hai said that while he had been getting complaints about strays the past two months, he did not expect them to be culled in an inhumane way.
Malaysian Animal Welfare Society president Shenaaz Khan said punitive action must be taken against animal abusers including the council, enforcement officers and the dog catchers.
"While there is outrage at the council's barbarism, it is not surprising given that most councils employ torturous means of dealing with strays including shooting, starving, bludgeoning and even drowning," she said, describing the whole episode as "cold-blooded murder."