7 Things You Need To Take Note On The New Animal Welfare Act, 2015 in Malaysia

Today's the first day of the implementation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) 2015 in Malaysia and have you understood the implications in handling your pet or any other animals under the new act?

Following the cumulative reports regarding the mistreatment and abuse of animals around the country, Malaysia has passed AWA in 2015, which highlights an extensive range of legislations - from housing of animals to animal transportation. More significantly, the new legislation introduced much stricter penalties for a range of offences after animal protectionists have pressed for stronger animal welfare laws. Here are 7 important things that you need to know about the new Animal Welfare Act 2015, Malaysia:


1 - The AWA permits the Animal Welfare Board to monitor the work of associations and organisations to alleviate trauma, pain and/or suffering of the animals. 

The responsibility of addressing to reports of cruelty or injury inflicted on animals have now been shared between the Department Veterinary Services (DVS) and other NGOs and organisations, with permission/authorisation from the department.


2 - All individuals and businesses that use animals require licenses to continue using such animals.

Under the license requirements, it is mandatory for individuals to ensure that their animal is free from any pain, trauma, suffering, illness and injury, as well as ensure that the animal can exhibit normal behaviour, have adequate diet and shelter.


3 - Courts have now been granted the power to disqualify or deprive any owner of licensee from owning an animal.

Therefore, licensees must ensure that the needs of the animal are satisfied including:

1. A suitable environment.
2. A suitable diet.
3. Its need for it to be able to exhibit its normal behaviour patterns.
4. The need for it to be housed with or apart from other animals.
5. The need for it to be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease.


4 - There is much more attention brought towards the ethical practices of the usage of animals for research.

Hence, it is prohibited for any persons to breed animals for research, testing, or teaching.


5 - It is prohibited to kill any animal (both domesticated and stray) unless the killing is authorized by the veterinary authority or a registered veterinary surgeon.

In addition, enforcement officers are permitted to put an animal down following a written authorization by a certified veterinary surgeon.  


6 - The AWA outlines cruelty offences which include beating, mutilating, poisoning, torturing, killing, confining animals in tight, restrictive spaces, abandonment of the animal and/or any activity that causes or permits any unnecessary pain or suffering (both directly and indirectly) to the animal and restricts the animal of basic necessities (food, water, shelter). 


7 - Welfare officers are permitted to enter a premise to rescue an animal in the event that a delay in obtaining a warrant would risk the loss of material evidence. 


Any persons who commits any the offences as outlined by the act will face a fine between RM15,000 and RM100,000 and/or up to 3 years in jail - a much heavier increase in penalties for cruelty from the shocking maximum fine of RM200 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment under the Animal Act of 1953.

-- Download the full document of AWA 2015 here --

Thus, this elevates the country's stand on animal abuse and welfare in the eyes of the international community. A remarkable progress from the days when we were touted as the most ignorant country on the issue of animal welfare. Keep yourself updated on the new act which can help to combat the mistreatment and abuse of animals. This will increase awareness of how you can effectively save and care for the lives of many animals - the tomorrow which our team in WLG hopes to achieve very soon!