Early this month, the Malaysian animal protection organisation Animal Rights urged the Hang Tuah Jaya municipal council (MPHTJ) in Melaka, the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca, to call off its campaign to shoot down crows with the excuse of controlling their population, as it considered it unlawful.  

Lawyers for Animal Rights said the council’s “Operasi Menembak Gagak”, which started on 8th March 2024 and lasted three days, was an “illegal murderous rampage that must be called off… MPHTJ must find non-lethal ways of controlling the crow population and not resort to the murder of these innocent animals.”

In a statement, the group cited Section 30(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2015, which specifies that no animal may be killed by a gun unless authorised by the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) in an emergency, or for disease control. Section 30(2)(e) permits the killing of animals for population control, but Section 30(1) bars local authorities from using firearms.

Lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan, the founder of the group, claimed that he was informed by the council that they did not obtain any authorisation from DVS for the campaign, but had informed the police. He said about the shooting to FMT, “Therefore, using firearms as a means of animal population control without authorisation from DVS, as stipulated in Section 30(1), is against the law…The public is horrified that such a mass murder of animals is going on in this day and age.”

He said Section 30 of the Animal Welfare Act 2015 needs to be amended for a better interpretation of the methods that authorities are allowed to use in culling animals.

In February 2024, animal rights groups also protested the culling of crocodiles carried out by the Sabah Wildlife Department of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) in early 2024, demanding an immediate end to this cruel practice. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.