FIRST WORD

Dogs Cap­tured Dur­ing Cam­paign

Fiji Sun - - Suncity - Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Ma­hen­dra Reddy

FOR THOSE DESEXED DOGS THAT WERE NOT CLAIMED OR RE­HOMED, THEY WERE re­leased back into the ar­eas they were trapped in as part of the Trap, Neuter, and Re­lease pro­gramme

Ato­tal of 682 stray dogs were cap­tured dur­ing the re­cently-con­cluded eight-week in­ten­sive Stray Dog Con­trol Cam­paign.

Of the dogs caught dur­ing the Cam­paign, 432 dogs were neutered, 91 dogs were re­homed with 373 dogs be­ing re­leased back into the ar­eas in which they were ini­tially trapped with 218 an­i­mals be­ing hu­manely eu­thanised.

The eight-week cam­paign which was held from June 17 to Au­gust 9, 2019, was car­ried out con­cur­rently through­out ur­ban and peri-ur­ban ar­eas in the coun­try and led to the trap­ping of the strays. Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture Ma­hen­dra Reddy ac­knowl­edged the sup­port of stake­hold­ers and the gen­eral pub­lic for the suc­cess­ful

im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gramme, as ev­i­denced by the tally of stray dogs caught dur­ing the cam­paign.

“The sup­port of the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils, the var­i­ous an­i­mal wel­fare or­gan­i­sa­tions such as An­i­mals Fiji, the So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals (SPCA), Pa­cific An­i­mal Shel­ter and Hos­pi­tal (PASH), Vet Essen­tials, the Fiji Po­lice Force and the gen­eral pub­lic helped the min­istry con­duct such an ex­ten­sive ex­er­cise.

“The trap­ping of these dogs and their sub­se­quent neu­ter­ing and nec­es­sary ac­tions taken by all or­gan­i­sa­tions in­volved dur­ing the cam­paign will un­doubt­edly ad­dress the num­ber of strays we have on our streets,” Mr Reddy said.

“Dur­ing the course of the ex­er­cise, all care was taken to hu­manely treat all caught dogs, in­clud­ing those who, un­for­tu­nately, had to be eu­thanised.”

In con­junc­tion with the trap­ping cam­paign, lo­cal­ity-based aware­ness cam­paigns were con­ducted. These fo­cused on the cam­paign ob­jec­tives with the dis­tri­bu­tion of pam­phlets to in­crease pub­lic knowl­edge on rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tion and the reg­is­tra­tion and li­cens­ing of el­i­gi­ble dogs also con­ducted.

“A to­tal of 515 dog li­censes were sold dur­ing the Cam­paign and this is a tes­ta­ment to the aware­ness done dur­ing this cam­paign,” Mr Reddy said.

The min­is­ter also elab­o­rated that the dogs which had been re­leased were done as part of the Trap, Neuter, and Re­lease (TNR) pro­gramme. “For those de-sexed dogs that were not claimed or re­homed, they were re­leased back into the ar­eas they were trapped in as part of the Trap, Neuter, and Re­lease pro­gramme. TNR is a long term so­lu­tion, and it pre­vents the in­crease of the stray dog pop­u­la­tion by prevent­ing them from re­pro­duc­ing and al­lows the stray dog pop­u­la­tion to die out nat­u­rally.”

It is an­tic­i­pated that through the sus­tained im­ple­men­ta­tion of the TNR pro­gramme, as a key com­po­nent of any na­tional stray dog con­trol pro­gramme, the stray dog pop­u­la­tion will grad­u­ally de­crease over time.

The min­istry will con­tinue to en­force dog leg­is­la­tion and will strengthen the ser­vices of the Spay and Neuter Pro­gramme dur­ing this fi­nan­cial year. Mem­bers of the pub­lic are ad­vised to no­tify the min­istry of any com­plaints re­lated to stray dogs in their com­mu­nity as the stray an­i­mal cam­paign was an on­go­ing pro­gramme.

Photo: Simione Har­a­vanua

A Suva City Coun­cil’s Health Depart­ment em­ployee with stray dogs cap­tured on June 20, 2019.

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