Stray dogs’ population may shrink as inclusive plan to take effect soon

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An inclusive plan to reduce stray dogs’ population will take effect in Islamabad next week. The growth of such disowned creature has become a constant nuisance for the residents.

Director Agriculture & Extension Services, Waqar Anwar told APP on Wednesday that the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) policy would be mainstay of the plan.

He said the policy was finalized in collaboration with other stakeholders after imposition of a ban on killing of dogs by the court.

Anwar said the guiding principles of the policy included recognition of five fundamental freedoms of animals and prevention of unnecessary pain and suffering of stray dogs, reduction in dog bites’ incidents and rabies cases and curtailment of their population in a humane manner.

Anwar said adult dogs would be picked up from different areas in a first place and transferred to a population control centre being set up in suburban area of Islamabad.

He said the male and female dogs would be neutered and spayed at the centre and then either released or given in ownership of any volunteer after its tagging.

At the center, the dogs would also be vaccinated against rabies virus, he added.

To a question, he said the official said the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) would be responsible for rules and regulations relating to dog ownership (registration, micro chipping, vaccination, leash laws, and abandonment), the control of stray dogs (dog catching, vaccinations, neutering/spaying, release and shelters) and the alleviation of the problems stray dogs caused in their jurisdiction.

The MCI would also play a leadership role with regard to human health risks within its territorial limits, he added.

He said environment protection agencies may take responsibility for control problems associated with stray dogs when they present a hazard to the environment e.g. control of feral dogs in national parks; prevention of dog attacks on wildlife or transmission of diseases to wildlife.

Where a lack of environmental controls is giving rise to stray dog populations that threaten human health or access to amenities, he said environmental protection agencies may regulate and enforce measures such as preventing dogs from accessing waste or human sewage.

The private sector veterinary was responsible for providing advice to dog owners or handlers consulting the veterinarian for advice or treatment of a dog.

According to a study, an estimated number of stray dogs in Pakistan are over 3 million stray dogs

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