Ipoh first to run stray animal population plan

IPOH: The city is set to be the first in Malaysia to run a “Trap, Neuter, Microchip, Release” programme to control the stray animal population.

A six-month trial run will begin on April 1, with the consent of the city council, said Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) president Ricky Soong.

During the trial run, he said ISPCA would catch, neuter and put microchips on some 500 stray dogs before releasing them back into the area where they were caught.

“The microchip will contain information about the animal and its carer, be it from NGOs or individual volunteers.

“To mark the animals as neutered, they would have part of their ears snipped, given a collar and a dog tag,” he said.

The information would be stored in ISPCA’s database.

Soong said the dogs would not be released in Malay villages, tourist spots or near schools.

However, he acknowledged that there could be other residents who may not be pleased that the strays were released back into their neighbourhoods.

“I would like to urge them to show some compassion and understanding.”

He estimated that there are about 30,000 stray dogs in the city.

“A female dog can give birth to an average of 12 puppies a year.

“We can just imagine the number of strays in the next few years if they are not controlled now,” he said.

Germany, he said, was one of the countries using the programme to control the number of stray animals.

“The lifespan of a neutered or spayed dog would be up to three years as they are living in the streets and eating whatever they can find,” he said.

Soong encouraged community dog feeders or voluntary carers of stray dogs to have their animals undergo the programme.

“ISPCA will bear the cost for the microchip tagging, collar and dog tags.

“They only need to pay for the neutering or spaying operation.

“If this programme is successful, we plan to expand it to other districts or states,” he added.