NATION

682 Dogs Captured During Campaign

515 licences were sold during the campaign according to Minister for Agriculture Mahendra Reddy
03 Sep 2019 13:51
682 Dogs Captured During Campaign
A Suva City Council’s Health Department employee with stray dogs captured on June 20, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

A total 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.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun

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