Home Forums Animal Welfare and Nature Increasing amount of strays and situation of dogs in Mauritius/ animal welfare

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  • #995 Reply
    yesha chellan

    Description :
    Authorities have been reporting a large number of stray dogs/cats across the Island and they have resorted to the mass catching and killing of these. This is not only a short-term solution but mostly an inhumane one. Such steps taken by the government has projected a negative image on the whole country; foreigners have clearly specified via social media that they will under no case come to a country whereby such atrocious acts are being carried out. How ironic it is because the government was specifically carrying out this mass culling as dogs were apparently a nuisance to tourists.
    The fact that the Island accounts for so many strays is mostly due to the fact that people abandon their dogs, let their unsterilised dogs out on the street all the time and during reproduction seasons they will mate with other dogs.
    Moreover, on social media daily cases of lost/abandoned/injured animals are reported through ONGs. People abandon puppies staked in plastic bags at times, in boxes on wastelands or in dumps. Additionally, people have reported several cases of animals being mistreated on social medias such as Facebook but in many of these few have reached the authorities. Few people will report cases of animal cruelty, out of fear or due to inaction of executive bodies.

    Potential solutions :
    To decrease number of strays, mass sterilisation campaigns should be organised. MSAW, the recognised authoritative body concerning the welfare of animals has organised some sterilisation campaigns however many are still resilient to bringing their pets for neutering. Non-Governmental organisations such as PAWS, SCAR do organise sterilisation campaigns as well. The government should provide the ONGs with the necessary support to boost their work.
    Though laws against animal cruelty do exist, these are neither respected by most citizens nor by officials. The government must introduce more severe laws concerning animal cruelty and the executive bodies must ensure compliance to these rules.
    – Fines for abandoning an animal which causes stress to it
    – Fines going up to jail sentences for ill-treating an animal and this will include beating, chaining, not providing adequate sheltering and not feeding the animal.
    – Despite introduction of laws, fines and organisation of sterilisation campaigns, one major solution that we have overlooked till now is education of the population.
    – Parents ought to teach their children about compassion so that they grow up with a principle putting forward respect.
    – People should be informed about the stress that animals can undergo when subjected to poor treatments and that they are sentient beings too. As such, out of compassion people can stop/prevent any kind of ill treatment to animals.
    – No dog is born aggressive. They gradually adopt that behavior due to wrong upbringing. Instead of abandoning the dog or having recourse to extreme methods such as use of muzzle, strangler or even euthanising the animal, other alternatives such as training the dog is to be considered.

    Benefits:
    – If children are educated at a very young age about respecting animals surrounding them, whilst growing up they will maintain this value and cases about animal cruelty will definitely experience a knock-down.
    – Proper education about canine behavior, respect towards animals will lead altogether to a compassionate nation which will in turn project a good image for the country. Moreover, people will learn what to do in cases of aggressiveness of dogs.
    – The mass sterilisation will prove to be a long-term solution and with time number of strays will diminish.

    ‘ Blood shedding was never and will never be the solution.’ and as Mahatma Gandhi said ‘ a nation is juged on the way its animals are treated’ so altogether with the proper education, values and solution, Mauritius can be a great nation.

    4+
    #26399 Reply
    Nat DC

    Hi all
    Our Foundation, Happy Tails Foundation and Sanctuary has been operational for the past year. We have 60 dogs that we or other people have rescued over the past year from terrible situations. They are now all cared for with love and compassion, as they so deserve. They get the best vet care available, they are all vaccinated and sterilised and ready for adoption all at our own cost currently. Many have been adopted, some have sadly come back to us only after a few months. We do our best to help as many rescuers as possible. We do monthly free sterilisation campaigns in our local area and we are implementing an education program this year for children and teens.

    We totally agree on all the points raised above and know that solving this issue on the island is a SIMPLE one, the resources from the government is what is lacking. NGOS need help. There are so many of us willing to put in the hard work, but have NO help and no way to make our mass sterilisation programs sustainable.

    If the government offered to at least cover the cost of sterilisations, we would make a HUGE leap in the right direction. We have written to them repeatedly, getting only 2 D responses back, saying that MSAW (Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare) has it “under control”. I fail to understand why they don’t see the stray situation as a priority, something that clearly affects the no.1 industry on the island, Tourism. Countless bad reviews and articles about it, yet still today nothing changes. MSAW continue to catch and kill these poor innocent animals (denying any form of “animal cruelty” even though evidence says otherwise) If you look at their website, you would say they seem on the right track, but just try and report a case of animal cruelty and you will not even get a response. I’m still waiting to hear back from 2 years ago!!!
    The key tools we need, as animal NGOs are:
    -funds
    -buildings (so many abandoned or empty council buildings in every single town could be converted into shelters/ temporary clinics)
    -free/ discounted vet services for ALL NGOs
    -legislation enforcement eg; fines for animal cruelty cases & breeder checks and enforcement of heavier fees

    With these simple and attainable points addressed, us NGOs could get on with the work that needs doing and I promise you, that in a decade, we would have almost no strays on the island.

    All for the animals,

    Nathalie Duthil-Cowham

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