Strays in dire need of food but there are hindrances

An animal lover ponders over the fate of stray dogs at local municipal pounds as the government has extended the Movement Control Order (MCO) to April 14.

Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (SPCA) Selangor chairman Christine Chin hopes the animals will not be neglected as most pounds nationwide are already in deplorable condition.

She also highlighted that animal food suppliers have been finding it tough delivering their goods to supermarkets and homes after the order came into effect on March 18.

“I’m worried about the animals in our local council pounds. I’ve been assured by some councils that they have been feeding the animals but what about the rest nationwide?” asked Chin.

“It is publicly known that most local council pounds aren’t in the best shape. I hope animals will not suffer even further and that the stakeholders will look into their welfare.

“SPCA Selangor has been notified by our pet food donor Pet World Marketing that they have not been able to distribute pet food despite the urgency at SPCA and pet food outlets. This is despite delivery of pet food being classified as an essential service.

“The police at roadblocks stopped the trucks from distributing.”

Chin also hoped the authorities will allow animal food suppliers to deliver pet food to supermarkets and homes throughout the MCO.

Animal and livestock feed are listed in the list of approved critical manufacturing sectors by the National Security Council but pet shops have been told to shut their doors by local councils as they are not an essential service.

“I’ve had suppliers reaching out, hoping we would be able to assist them as they have been told they can’t deliver pet food,” said Chin.

Pet World Marketing had written to the authorities seeking exemption to allow the delivery of pet food only to be rejected by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry in a letter dated March 24.

Its chief executive officer Choy Peng Yew said pet food is animal feed, as listed in the National Security Council’s essential list.

“But my drivers have been facing a lot of difficulties during roadblocks. Our last delivery to supermarkets and marts was on Monday,” said Choy.

“We’ve reached out to the Department of Veterinary Services following the rejection from the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry. I was informed officers from the department met representatives of the department (yesterday) and we are awaiting the outcome.”

Choy said his stock were stuck at the Thai border and ports due to the MCO. He said pet shops too need to stock up as they sell pet food online.

“We are full time donors to SPCA and several other shelters. How are we to deliver the food to these organisations?”

Pet shops, along with pet food, are considered essential items in the UK following the government’s decision to impose a partial ‘lockdown’ on Monday.

Authorities in Maharashtra, which has the largest number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in India, also announced a lockdown on Monday but classified pet stores and veterinary clinics as essential services.

SPCA Selangor patron Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye had told Twentytwo13 over the weekend that animal shelter workers should be allowed to work to ensure rescued cats and dogs are taken care of.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur City Hall Health & Environment Department Deputy Director Chandrakant Patel said it’s business as usual for the pounds managed by the local council.

“We are operating as usual and I’ve not been informed of any issues or food shortage,” he added.

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