Issue of stray animals in spotlight in Brunei

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN) - THE issue of stray animals is a major challenge for Brunei, often resulting from lack of responsible pet ownership which leads to multiple consequences in the community. A rarely discussed issue in the country, it even culminates in extreme cases of animal cruelty and death.

These were some of the points highlighted during the ‘Strayholders Workshop’ organised by the second cohort of the Young Executive Programme at the Civil Service Institute in Rimba, Gadong yesterday.

The three-day workshop, aimed at educating and raising awareness among youths about issues of stray animals apart from developing leadership skills, was officiated by YB Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari, a member of the Legislative Council.

Participants mostly comprised students and academic staff from the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE).

The workshop will see lectures, discussions and visits to various places related to the issue of stray animals, apart from leadership building and community activities expected to enhance the skills of the participants.

Noor Amal Amirah binti Haji Azlan, the project leader of Strayholders Workshop, in her speech said the issue of strays has been around for a long time, creating multiple consequences in the community such as road accidents and road kills.

"Stray animals that roam around villages and urban areas are potential carriers of diseases such as rabies. Their overpopulation exacerbates the problem, creating an unclean and a less safe environment. This is an issue which is rarely discussed in Brunei, and at times can even culminate in extreme cases of animal cruelty and death.

"The issue of strays is a community issue and therefore should not be ignored. The Strayholders Workshop aims to educate and raise awareness on the situation of strays in Brunei while at the same time providing opportunities to learn and develop individual skills like leadership and storytelling, so that the participants are prepared to tackle the problem of strays in this country more effectively," she said.

Noor Amal Amirah said the workshop has invited speakers and facilitators from nine organisations comprising government agencies, education institutions and non-government organisations. The programme will feature sessions such as Caring for Animals: An Islamic Perspective, Animal First Aid Course, and Public Speaking, to name a few.

She thanked the Civil Service Institute for allowing to hold the workshop at the venue. She also expressed gratitude to YB Iswandy bin Ahmad, a member of the Legislative Council; speakers and facilitators from Care and Action for Strays, Sekretariat Tetap Wawasan Brunei of the Prime Minister’s Office, Human Development Association (KESAN), Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB), Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), Agriculture and Agrifood Department of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Speakers Club and facilitators from Sayyidina Hussain Secondary School.