BUTTERWORTH, Malaysia - The state government does not support the shooting of stray dogs as a measure to reduce their population in Penang.
Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said the Penang Island and Seberang Prai municipal councils were not encouraged to kill the animals because it was cruel.
He said the public, especially those who are animal lovers, would object against such an act.
"The state does not agree with killing strays. Even the councils do not want to do it because it is inhumane.
"No dog should be destroyed unless it is absolutely necessary to put the animal down, like it has rabies, for instance," he said last Saturday.
Ramasamy urged the people to emulate a group of Taman Prai residents, who had come together to save and neuter stray dogs in their area by forming Mercy, which stood for Member of Emergency Rescue and Care for Young Puppies, in November last year.
The group, which works closely with the Save Our Strays (SOS) group and the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP), has set up the Prai Mercy Rehabilitation Centre for Neglected Dogs in Taman Prai at a small Indah Water Consortium premises belonging to the state government.
The centre, the first of its kind in Penang that was initiated by residents, functions as a temporary shelter for puppies and also as a quarantine facility for adult dogs that are caught and spayed before they are released.