Special working groups to be formed on stray dog population control

September 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Four special working groups are being established to control stray dogs’ population in Tehran, director of environment and sustainable development department at Tehran Municipality has stated.

Shina Ansari made the remarks during a meeting held on Tuesday with the participation of representatives from the municipality and related NGOs to address the issue of stray dogs’ overpopulation.

Without a doubt, NGOs and animal right advocates can play an important role in this regard and elicit public participation as well, she stated.

“To find solutions and control the stray dogs’ population in the city, we decided to form four special working groups to pursue judicial, educational, cultural, and technical aspects of the issue,” she highlighted.

 She went on to say that the meeting will be hold continuously since the solutions are achieved, Fars news agency reported.

------------Stray dog population control program

Stray dogs are unconfined dogs that live in cities. They may be pets which have strayed from or are allowed freedom by their owners, or may be feral animals that have never been owned. 

To deal with stray and feral dogs, which may pose serious threats to human health, animal health and welfare problems or causing socio-economic, political, and religious problems in some countries. Whilst acknowledging human health is a priority including the prevention of zoonotic diseases notably rabies, a plan on controlling dog populations without causing unnecessary or avoidable animal suffering is of great importance. 

Veterinary services should play a lead role in preventing zoonotic diseases as well as ensuring animal health and should be involved in dog population control program, coordinating their activities with other competent public institutions or agencies.

The objectives of a program to control the dog population may include improving health of stray dog population, reducing number of stray dogs to an acceptable level, the creation and maintenance of a rabies immune or rabies-free dog population, reducing the risk of zoonotic diseases other than rabies, managing other risks to human health (e.g. parasites), preventing harm to the environment and other animals and preventing illegal trade and trafficking.

Registration of animals in a centralized database can be used to mandatory rabies vaccination and traceability and the reuniting of lost animals with owners.

Controlling reproduction is a way that prevents the birth of unwanted puppies and can help address the balance between demand for dogs and the size of the population; for example, surgical sterilization carried out by veterinarians with pain management.

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