Dawn letter to the editor – II

THIS refers to the Karachi city government’s plan to eliminate pye-dogs by laying out poison-filled sweetmeats and meat in every town and union council. This not only poses a threat to pet dogs and cats but also to garbage pickers and beggars. Moreover, it is a cruel way to get rid of pye-dogs.

Pakistan has been using such these methods for the past 50 years, and they have never worked, which even the City Government acknowledges. The government should adopt the method that has been successful in countries like India — an animal birth control programme which is a humane way of countering pye-dog population and rabies.

Street dogs are captured, surgically neutered, vaccinated against rabies and re-released in the same area where they were caught. The aim is to produce a smaller, healthier, more stable street dog population in which rabies are better controlled.

The World Health Organization now recognizes that slaughter often produces a short-term effect. Even maximal catching rates (up to 24 per cent of the dog population per year) make no significant impact, because where dogs are removed, others migrate into the area to fill the ecological niche.

The Karachi city government should reconsider this approach, and adopt an animal birth control programme.


Source: Dawn letter to the editor – July 01, 2005

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