Killing stray dogs cruel, ineffective — lobby

When you kill them, a new pack will take their place as territory is available

In Summary

•More than 50,000 stray dogs reported in Nairobi every year. 

•Vet department had requested for guns and bullets to 'humanely' shoot them. 

Stray dogs.
Stray dogs.
Image: FILE

The World Animal Protection lobby on Monday urged the Nairobi county government to immediately abandon plans to kill stray dogs.

“We urge county authorities to find better means to manage the increasing dog population," director Tennyson Williams said.

He called the county's plans to cull stray dogs as "cruel, needless and an ineffective attempt to control rabies and manage their populations".

"Nairobi needs to abandon its planned cull and seek expert advice on alternatives," Williams said in a statement.

On April 30, county Veterinary Services director Muriithi Muhari said Nairobi will spend Sh100 million to humanely kill stray dogs in the next one year.

This will improve businesses and other activities, he said. 

More than 50,000 stray dogs are reported every year in the county.

In a statement issued on Monday, Williams said mass dog vaccinations, neutering and educating communities on responsible pet ownership are proven to be both effective and humane.

He said the Sh100 million set aside to cull dogs could be enough to vaccinate all dogs in Nairobi for seven years at Sh300 per vaccine cycle.

“Vaccination will need to be done alongside a sterilisation programme too, but it could be a fantastic mass dog vaccination scheme with this kind of budget!” Williams said.

Studies show that when dogs are culled in one area, a new pack moves in to take their territory.

"Killing dogs undermines vaccination efforts where the turnover of dogs is high. There is no evidence culling alone has ever led to reduced population. Dogs' population will continue rising unless the government puts in place systems and structures to support sterilisation."

A perception survey in Nairobi suggested that 85 per cent of dog owners are ready to take their dogs for vaccination and population control services if the services are available.

“Unfortunately, these services are not available. The county should focus on providing these services other than the short-term control efforts," the statement said.


(Edited by R.Wamochie)

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