Sindh government has launched a massive dog culling campaign
On February 24, the Sindh High Court’s Sukkur bench passed orders that if any person is bitten by a dog anywhere in Sindh, the MPA of that area will be suspended.
The decision was taken after the number of dog bite cases in Sindh rose. In an unprecedented move on March 18, the court suspended the membership of Ratodero and Jamshoro MPAs Faryal Talpur and Malik Asad Sikander.
Following this, the local government launched a massive dog culling campaign in Sindh. In the first week of March, the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation killed over 500 stray dogs. A similar operation has been launched in multiple other cities of Sindh, including Karachi.
Environmentalist and animal rights activists Eric Shehzar told SAMAA Digital that the government’s decision didn’t come as a surprise because they had been planning it for a long time. “They want to conduct this dog culling campaign silently and avoid questions as to why is this taking place when there are other solutions.”
He said that the federal government has given Sindh Rs930 million for the vaccination of stray dogs. “If we are killing dogs, where has that money gone?”
According to Dr Wajiha Javed, project director of Rabies Free Pakistan, authorities have been killing dogs for over 30 years now but the population still continues to rise. “One dog produces three litters of puppies in a way which means that a female dog gives birth to 18 puppies.”
This means that no matter how many dogs you kill, it will not affect their population. Rather, it will force them to reproduce quickly. “Dogs are territorial and when they see their species decreasing, they mate quickly,” ACF founder Ayesha Chundrigar said. “It’s like the survival of the fittest.”
RFP’s Javed explained that rabies can’t be controlled by killing dogs. Injecting them instead is the right way. “It’s the virus to blame, not the dogs.”
#stopcullingdogPakistan— RabiesFreePK (@RabiesFreePK) March 28, 2021
They are man’s best friend, our protectors and loyal companions. They are God’s creatures who deserve a chance to live without fear in their homes, the streets.
Today we stand united against the ongoing brutal treatment of the street dogs of #Pakistan.
In countries across the world, rabies is being eradicated by neutering and vaccinating stray dogs. In the case of female dogs, it’s spaying them.
“Pakistan is a member of the Zero by 30 campaign initiated by the World Health Organisation which aims to end rabies by the year 2030,” she pointed out. “Even the campaign states that the correct way to stop the reproductive cycle of dogs is by vaccinating them.”
In a bid to protect the culling, ACF and RFP have launched a Save the Dogs campaign. “Under this, Rabies Free Pakistan will neuters dogs across Karachi,” Javed revealed. “For now we are going to areas with most threats such as North Karachi, Shah Faisal, and Federal B Area.”
The neuters dogs will be collared or tagged for identification.
After the dogs are vaccinated, ACF will relocate the animals to a safe location and provide them with food, water, and other care facilities. The plan is, however, only for two weeks.
While the local bodies are at killing stray dogs, there are some things that can be done on an individual level to save these animals.