DVS director of biosecurity Dr Azmie Zakaria said its law concerning animal abuse was outdated and the penalty for abuse was just a slap on the wrist.
Speaking at the Animal Cruelty Seminar held at the Petaling Jaya City Hall (MBPJ) library, Azmie also said the existing Animal Ordinance 1953 is outdated.
And that is why the ministry is looking into repealing the act and replacing it with the Animal Welfare Act, probably by next year, said Azmie.
The current legislation, drafted before Independence, only provides a fine of RM200 or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both, for convicted animal abusers.
Also present in the seminar were representatives from the MBPJ, Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Klang Municipal Council (MPK), animal rights NGOs and human rights lawyer Edmund Bon.
The seminar was earlier officiated by Selangor exco for health, plantation workers and caring government Dr Xavier Jeyakumar.
Over the years, member of the public have highlighted many cases involving animal cruelty, particularly involving stray dogs.
The most recent case involved a pet hotel, Petknode, when over 200 cats under their care were left unattended for nearly two weeks, and many died of starvation.
The committee, which would coordinate and formulate policies in dealing with stray animals, would include representatives from all local councils in Selangor.
Currently, only MBPJ, MPK and MPSJ has the committee but its at the local council level. With the state level committee, we will also be able to formulate ideas on how to educate people on being responsible pet owners, said Zulkifli.
Zulkifli said it was easy to label his officers as the villains when the stray animal problems were caused by irresponsible pet owners.
He recalled an incident when a pet owner had dumped several puppies at a playground when he was not being able too look after them.
And when we went to get the puppies, people just started accusing us of animal cruelty, said Zulkifli.
Admitting that they did not have the expertise to deal with strays in the past, the health officer said MPK has come a long way since then and welcome public participation in dealing with the matter.
We now have a small pound at the MPK and we keep the animals for one week so that their owners can get them back.
If the pets are not claimed by then, we will consult the DVS on the next course of action, he said.