03 Jun

May 30th City Govt meeting on rabies and stray dogs

Dear All,

On the one hand the City Government has offered its cooperation to PAWS in the setting up of an ABC programme in Karachi, on the other it is resolutely continuing with its senseless dog killings. While we fully intend to take the Nazim up on his word, we believe this offer to help is lip-service as the very meeting which was supposed to explore alternative strategies (minutes posted below) began with the distribution of flyers announcing the strategy already decided upon – mass strychnine poisoning of stray dogs.

Along with the Infectious Diseases Society of Pakistan (IDSP) and PAWS representatives from the previous meeting (May 9, 2005), all town heads had also been invited to be informed of the City District Government’s decision. The ‘3-page handout’:http://pawspakistan.org/stray_management/city_govt_dog_killing_campaign.html with guidelines and responsibilities for various government officials involved in the ‘Kutta Maar Mohim’ (dog-killing campaign) indicated that photographs of dead dogs are to be published in leading newspapers to keep the public informed of the ‘progress’ of the campaign. In addition, rupees 2 million have been allocated as reward for the best, most successful ‘operatives’. A translation of the hand-out is available on ‘www.pawspakistan.org’:http://pawspakistan.org/stray_management/city_govt_dog_killing_campaign.html.

While this is clearly madness, the City Government is determined to proceed with the mass poisoning and is making arrangements to render the campaign more effective than in the past. In support of the Nazim, the various town heads attending the meeting appear eager to participate and particularly pleased by the allocation of the prize money.

With the conclusion of the May 30th meeting, the “Dog-Killing Campaign” has effectively been set in motion. Now, more than ever, the stray dogs of Karachi need your help.

Please write in your views to the Mayor of Karachi and the President of Pakistan.

Thank you.

Mahera Omar
Maheen Zia

Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
www.pawspakistan.org

Meeting called by Karachi City Government
Rabies and Stray Dog Management
Civic Center, Karachi
Monday, May 30, 2005

Participants:

Karachi City Nazim Niamatullah Khan (NK)

Dr. Khalid Shaikh (KS)
Executive District Officer (Health), City District Government Karachi

Sajjad Haider Dara (SHD)
Nazim, Union Council ‘Ancholi’ Gulberg Town

District Officer Health
Regulation and Quality Control CDGK

All Town Nazims & TMOs, Karachi

Dr. Naseem Salahuddin (NS)
President IDSP, Member, WHO Expert Committee on Rabies

Dr. Seemin Jamali (SJ)
Deputy Director and Incharge, Accident and Emergency Department
Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi

Dr. Nayyar Islam (NI)
Physician, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi

Dr. Sardar Sarmad (SS)
Acting Consultant, Accident and Emergency
Liaquat National Hospital

Ardeshir Cowasjee (AC)
Journalist

Rubina Jabbar (RJ)
Journalist

Hamid Maker (HM)
Chairman, Helpline Trust

Naomi Alesworth (NA)
Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Mahera Omar (MO)
Producer, Janu Janwar, Geo Television
Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

h4. Minutes of the meeting:

A detailed meeting between the Karachi City Government, IDSP and PAWS was held earlier in the month on May 9, 2005 about rabies and the stray dog population of Karachi. It was proposed in this meeting to step up the strychnine poisoning of stray dogs to get rid of the menace of rabies. An alternate humane strategy of catch/neuter/vaccinate/release was suggested by PAWS. (KS)

Between then and now, a central committee has been made by Karachi City Government for an anti-rabies campaign which will begin strychnine poisoning of stray dogs in one week. (NK)

For the first phase of the ‘Kutta Maar Mohim’ (dog-killing campaign), 20,000 capsules of strychnine poison will be ready by the evening of May 31st, 2005. Each capsule will be potent enough to kill one dog in
about 2 minutes, as opposed to 45 minutes to an hour during previous campaigns. The capsule would be placed inside a piece of meat, chicken head or a gulab jaman (sweet meat), and sanitation workers will follow the dogs until their death to make sure no other animal accidentally consumes the poison. Reward money of rupees 2 million will be given to the workers of those towns who carry out their job well and spend their nights monitoring the dogs. 20,000 dogs are expected to be killed in 15-20 days, and the campaign will continue twice a month after that. (SHD)

There should be no delay in implementing the dog killing campaign as dog-bite cases are increasing in the city day by day. (A town nazim)

There are over 150,000 dog-bite cases in Pakistan every year, out of which 2,000 to 5,000 individuals contract rabies. It is a painful disease and costs Rs. 20-25,000 per patient to treat. For effective rabies prevention in humans, a decrease in animal populations is necessary. In Malaysia, they kill all stray dogs. In India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and many other countries the animal birth control program and vaccination is in place. We’re all human beings and like to respect all animals, whether donkeys or mad dogs. But physicians need to care about those poor people who get bitten every day. (NS)

30-40 dog-bite cases are treated daily at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre alone. (SJ)

A lot of expenses have to be borne by the victims of dog-bites. It is more appropriate to eliminate the dogs involving less money instead of spending that amount on rabies treatment. (NI)

Rabies vaccines are imported from foreign countries. Improper storage renders the expensive vaccine useless. There is a need to come to a
decision on issues. (HM)

Training of doctors for rabies treatment and awareness for victims is
necessary. (NK, NS, NI)

Mass-killings of dogs have been scientifically proven to be an ineffective strategy as other animals soon move into an area that has been cleared of its dogs. Removal of large numbers of animals from an area paves the way for an ecological disaster as the strychnine poison from the bodies of these dogs would soon find its way into our birds, our insects, our soil, our water, and eventually back to us, the humans. PAWS suggests implementing the WHO recommended catch/neuter/vaccinate/release strategy that is already in effect in many countries of the world including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, UAE, Egypt, Brazil, Greece, Kenya and Turkey. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), member of WHO’s Expert Committee on Rabies, has offered its support to PAWS for implementation of such a strategy in Karachi. (MO)

Killing of dogs in such an inhumane way is against the law according to Pakistan’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1890. The City Government would be breaking this law if they continue with the poisoning of dogs. (NA)

The PAWS recommended alternative strategy could be implemented in a sample area to evaluate its effectiveness. (A town nazim)

There should be a monitoring center in each of Karachi’s 18 towns for rabies. Awareness must be created for pet owners and pet dog registration be made compulsory or a fine imposed. The City Government would like a report from PAWS about the Animal Birth Control (ABC) strategy and is willing to provide assistance to PAWS in the setting up of such a programme in Karachi. (NK)

One thought on “May 30th City Govt meeting on rabies and stray dogs

  1. We as humans should respect the lives of not only humans but animals as well. The mass-poisoning of dogs by the gov is definitely not the right solution. But still, dog populations have to be kept in check and under control.

Leave a Reply