Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian police said on Sunday they had launched an investigation after pictures of a puppy apparently being tortured appeared on micro-blogging website Twitter.
“We are looking into the report filed by several animal lovers regarding a dog being abused in a photo on an Internet website,” a Malaysian police official, who declined to be identified, told said.
“Investigations are being carried out but we cannot release any other details so far,” he added.
Malaysian Animal Rights Society president N Surendren said he and five other civil society groups filed a police report over the photograph, which he said appeared on the Twitter page of a popular Malaysian actress.
“The photo on Twitter shows two men in the process of hanging a small black and white puppy and both men are showing an obscene gesture while posing with the puppy, which is hanging by its neck,” he said.
“It is quite outrageous because the fact that they allowed the photo to be taken meant they felt they could get away with it and the police wouldn't take action,” he added.
Surendran said the photograph came to the society's attention when it was mailed to them from a person who had seen it on the actress' Twitter account, which is blocked from public access.
“We know the actress uploaded the picture in her tweet and we tried to contact her but she has refused to cooperate.”
Malaysian Animal Welfare Society president Shenaaz Khan called the act “barbaric” and said the only positive thing was that the men's faces were clearly identifiable in the picture, thereby aiding the police investigation.
Animal abuse cases are common in Malaysia, with critics saying punishment of a small fine and six months in jail fails to deter culprits.
Activists in May protested at a wildlife park over a clip posted on video-sharing website YouTube showing a tiger being manhandled for the amusement of visitors. - Sapa-AFP