Letter: Kampar Municipal Council officers should not be authorised to shoot to kill

By Dr Khoo Kong Soo

At approximately 8.40 on the morning of Wednesday 8 June 2011, a group of enforcement officers from the Majlis Daerah Kampar arrived at my residential area of Taman Bukit Emas, Kampar, to shoot dogs.

The housing estate is on the fringe of an Orang Asli settlement and the Orang Asli have stayed and kept dogs there long before the newer houses of Taman Bukit Emas were built.

A dog was shot as he tried to run up the hill to the Orang Asli village. A rifle was used. I saw a single wound on the dog’s back.

The body of the dog was loaded into a large container of water at the back of a pick-up truck. I went to the enforcement officers to protest and pleaded with them not to shoot the dogs as they were owned by Orang Asli, and an officer wearing a nametag of “Murali” told me “Kita tak boleh tembakkah?” (“Why shouldn’t we shoot?”).

No matter how much and how often animal lovers and civilised people protest, the practice of using firearms and other cruel methods on dogs continues.

A rifle loaded with live rounds has no place in a residential area.

It is an unsafe practice as a ricochet could cause injury or death.

It is gross cruelty to animal, it endangers all of us. Examples of misuse of firearms by the council officers are manifold.

An enforcement officer shot a DVD peddler and an innocent bystander who lived with the bullet in his chest till the day he passed away.

Another shot an old lady’s therapy dog, a labrador. The shooter and his team could not even distinguish between a pedigree dog and a stray mutt or were so bent on killing, they didn’t care.

At another time,  shooter  who failed to kill a dog with the first shot  and  he and his team entered the compound of the dog’s owner to deliver the coup de grace.

Some years ago, the coup de grace was performed by clubbing the dog to death. Enough of this.

Guns should be restricted to the government personnel who need them for protection against possible violence and danger, e.g. police, armed forces, and the wildlife department.

Municipal councils are not fighting terrorists, poachers, militants, insurgents, pirates, robbers and other sociable people, so they don’t need guns.

After all, most dogs and DVD sellers that I know are not armed with AK-47s and cannot return fire.