JOHOR BARU: A 19-year old student who pleaded guilty to setting a dog on fire was sentenced to seven strokes of the rotan by the Sessions Court here today.
Judge Datuk Che Wan Zaidi Che Wan Ibrahim also ordered Braden Yap Hong Sheng, 19, to be released on a one-year good behaviour bond. Yap, who pleaded guilty to the charge on April 12, was granted bail of RM10,000.
Che Wan Zaidi said before sentencing that the court took seriously the inhumane act committed by Yap.
"Whatever threat the dog posed against you, you should not have acted cruelly. You should have lodged a report to the enforcement agency for them to take action," he said.
However, the judge said the court took into account the fact that Yap was a young, first-time offender who had repented and pleaded guilty at an early stage.
"The court sees a prison sentence as not appropriate. However, it is the court's responsibility to also give an appropriate punishment by taking into account the public interest factor as a lesson to the accused and the community so that this act does not happen again in the future.
"All living beings, including animals, have a fundamental right to be protected by the law and to live in peace," he said.
Based on the charge sheet, Yap was charged with cruelly causing undue pain to a brown female dog in front of a premises at Jalan Impian Emas 22, Taman Impian Emas, Skudai, here, at 1.49am, on March 27.
The charge was framed under Section 29(1)(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2015 and can be punished under Section 29(1) of the same act which provides for a fine of up to RM100,000 or a maximum imprisonment of three years or both, if found guilty.
Prosecution was conducted by prosecuting Officer of the state Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Mohd Zamri Shak @ Ishak, while Yap was represented by lawyer G.K. Sritharan.
The court fixed May 21 for the public execution of the caning sentence against the accused at Sessions Court 4, at 9 am.
According to the facts of the case, at 12.30pm on March 28, the state DVS veterinarian conducted a physical examination on a dog after receiving a public complaint regarding a man who had injured a dog.
The results of the examination found that the dog was in a state of fear. There were bruises and burns on its left thigh, a wound on the front leg and bleeding in the left eye.
Based on closed circuit camera (CCTV) footage, the accused was found to have beaten and burned the dog.