My first circus experience was at the age of 15. Right after our PMR examinations, my mother treated me and a couple of my friends to go attend a big-tent circus performance in Muar. That was about the time when I heard the rumours that whenever the circus is in town, stray dogs and cats would ‘magically’ disappear off the streets. Lions need (cheap) feeding too.

And now it looks like the circus is smack in the middle of Selayang. A couple of Monsterblog readers highlighted the need to address this issue, and I agree. However please understand that by not blogging about it at the same time you thought I should, does not make me less ‘humane’. Frankly speaking it is rather insulting because… well that’s very presumptuous to make uncalled-for assumptions about someone whom you don’t really know. While I appreciate every comments on this blog and always encourage readers to put in their two cents worth, those remarks that a couple of you made were rather unjustified, IMHO.

Council’s dog move ‘ridiculous
by Mazlinda Mahmood

PETALING JAYA: The Selayang Municipal Council is in the dog house.

Voices chanting “save the strays” and “stop the hunt” filled Central Park 1 Utama yesterday as animal lovers protested its controversial dog-catching competition.

Their concern goes out not only to the dogs but also to the untrained people who risk injury trying to catch them.

An animal rights advocate, lawyer N. Surendran, said the competition would not solve the problem of stray dogs.

“The only proven way to solve the problem is a comprehensive spaying campaign, coupled with a public education programme to teach owners to neuter their pets and not to abandon them,” he said, suggesting a discount on the licence fee to dog owners who neuter their pets.

He said stray dogs must be caught by trained professional dog catchers under the supervision of veterinarians.

Background: Apparently there is a running contest organised by the Selayang Municipal Council for people to catch and hand in stray dogs in the area. The prizes for the winners of the contest seem lucrative — first prize winner gets RM 15,000, second prize is RM 13,000 and third prize is RM 11,000. Last I checked the details of the contest is available from the Selayang Municipal Council’s website here.

Incidentally, I chanced upon a blog post highlighting contents of an e-mail written by a Dr. Mohd Dzulhamka Kamaluddin of Universiti Putra Malaysia. Apparently an e-mail has been circulating around showing photos of a Muslim vet student handling ‘haram’ animals such as pigs and dogs, and it has incurred the wrath of various people. In the e-mail written in Bahasa Malaysia, Dr. Mohd Dzulhamka explained that handling pigs and dogs are actually not ‘haram’, as stated by some overzealous people. In summary, it is ‘haram’ to consume the flesh of the stated animals, but to care for them especially when they are brought to you, is not.

You can read the full content of the e-mail from a blogger who published it on her blog. If the link was not obvious enough, please click here to read the full blog post in Bahasa Malaysia ;) Two reasons why you should read it:

1) Hopefully you will be enlightened about the what is and what is not proper when it comes to Muslims and animals such as dogs and pigs.

2) I went through quite a fair bit of trouble to verify the authenticity of the e-mail, and finally managed to get Prof. Dr. Rasedee Abdullah, a lecturer with the Veterinarian faculty of UPM to confirm that yes, he read, consented to and signed his name with the letter that Dr. Mohd Dzulhamka wrote.