10 Nov

Managing Karachi University’s stray dogs

  
On Tuesday November 10th concerned citizens met with Karachi University’s Vice Chancellor Dr. Muhammad Qaiser about putting an end to the stray dog killings on the university’s campus. The meeting was initiated by Sam Sattar, an animal lover who’s been at the forefront of creating awareness about humane stray dog management.
Karachi University has been poisoning and shooting dogs on its campus for decades. Pakistan Animal Welfare Society and others at the meeting urged the Vice Chancellor to consider adopting the university stray dogs as part of their natural environment and working toward neutering and vaccinating them. This would create a stable and safe stray population that would also prevent other outside dogs from moving on campus. It would also over time reduce the campus dog population as they wouldn’t be able to breed and produce more puppies. The remaining dogs would be rabies free and pose no threat to the students and staff on campus.
Dr. Qaiser said he agreed culling dogs was barbaric and welcomed other solutions. He hoped someone would step in and remove the dogs for them. When it was explained to him how it was necessary to maintain a familiar population to prevent new dogs from coming in he relented and agreed to a proposal for a project and subsequent meeting to discuss it.
The World Health Organisation and doctors of the Pakistan chapter of Rabies in Asia recommend mass vaccination and spay/neuter campaigns as an effective and humane method to deal with rabies and stray dog populations in developing countries. Such campaigns are already in practice in our neighbouring countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. 
It is hoped that necessary resources can be pooled in time to create a pilot project on the campus of Karachi University that is more befitting an educational institution of higher learning than routine culling of dogs.

04 Nov

Elephants – from cells to sanctuaries

Guest post by Naeem Sadiq.

Karachi Zoo elephants Oct2015Having been chained for 20 years, sale ‘Saheli’ the female elephant of Islamabad zoo could no longer bear the ordeal of life in confinement, standing in one posture, infections in her feet and agony in her soul. She died on May 1, 2012. The six remaining elephants, thinly spread in four different zoos of Pakistan await a similar fate. ‘Kaavan’ in Islamabad, ‘Suzi’ in Lahore, ‘Noor Jehan’ and ‘Madhubala’ in Karachi zoo and ‘Malika’ and ‘Sonu’ at Safari Park. Ironically it is not our love but gifts, poaching, smuggling and selling that forcibly removed these elephants from their natural habitats. The elephants in our zoos may well be compared with the prisoners of Guantanamo – caged, tied with chains, confined in solitary cells, ill-treated, ill-fed and emotionally battered. Read More