What we need to learn from India on Dog population management

We have so much to learn from India. Apart from being a land of spirituality… They have humility!! Humility to accept that they do mistakes too…

I’d like to bring some attention on how India deals with stray dog problem. India has 24 million of stray dogs.

24 million!!!!

Mauritius has only 57,000 roaming dogs, out of which many are owned but allowed to stray.
So does India do catch and kill on a massive scale as well? No!
India is a pioneer of ABC (Animal Birth Control) and CNR (Catch Neuter Release) programs having given successfully results! Their programs are looked up as reference all around the world, even the WHO (World Health Organization) takes India as example. 

We thank heaven that unlike India, Mauritius does not have the most lethal of all canine transmitted disease, Rabies. Rabies is a contagious and fatal viral disease of dogs and other mammals, transmissible through the saliva to humans and causing madness, convulsions and eventually death.  Dog rabies potentially threatens over 3 billion people in Asia and Africa. Rabies was being transmitted by stray dogs and causing thousands of human deaths every year in India. The solution was so reduce to control the number of dogs and manage the stray population.

Jaipur is one successful example, whereby through ABC and CNR programs, death due to rabies had been been rendered to 0. Stray population has significantly decreased and controlled, existing strays sterilized and healthy, accepted by locals and no more a nuisance.

Like Mauritius, India too was using the wrong tool to control dog population, India used poisoning and electrocution as a mean to control strays but in 1992 New Delhi’s court required that ABC program replaces ineffective methods of dog control. In 1994 and 1995 a pilot project in Jaipur demonstrated the effectiveness of ABC and CNR and today it’s been extended all through out India with the help of international organizations. India is huge and such projects though effective will take time to yield results. Similar projects have proven more feasible and easy when done on small islands because there is no risk of having unsterilized dogs from countries not following the program crossing borders to re-populate areas of CNR/ABC. An ABC program in Mauritius will only take a few years to provide results but should be strengthen by education and a good legislation.

”Until recently, capture and kill policies prevailed as the primary dog-control method. While even today removal of dogs continues to be a component of dog control in some countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), leading researchers, and animal protection groups have condemned dog removal policies as ineffective and cruel.
It has also been found that catch and kill was ineffective because 80% strays should be caught and killed at one go before the next heat season to eradicate strays.. Well this is financially and logistically impossible for any country!! ”

-From Free-Roaming Dogs in Developing Countries: The Benefits of Capture, Neuter, and Return Programs by Jennifer Jackman and Andrew Rowan

Mauritius has been cruelly catching and killing dogs under the worst conditions possible… We were there 50 years ago and will still do same in 50 years if the same ineffective method is used. Unfortunately though NGOs have the knowledge and skills to implement ABC, they do not have the fundings, only the Government can implement a national scale project which will give the results we all want…

India should be an inspiration for us!! They are tackling this problem humanely even though they have suffered the worst possible consequences of dog population outburst and they know it will cost money and take time… But they chose a method which has proven itself.

India did it…. Mauritius can too.

Mauritian need to understand that animal welfare NGO’s and groups do not ONLY want to save lives of cats and dogs, NGO’s also want to find a solution to  your daily problems regarding strays and dogs from irresponsible dog owners. Stray dogs strive because they have food – Food which comes from our poorly managed household garbage and wastes.

The problem of dog population management should be tackled from the source! and the source is men!

My next blog post will be on Catch Neuter and release. It might seems crazy to return the dog to where it strays but believe me.. Its all science! Stay tune…

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