KUCHING: The Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) is calling on the Sarawak government and local councils across the state to compound stray dogs rather than cull them.
While culling may become necessary, there must be a broad acceptance of the fact that culling by itself would not solve the problem, said a statement issued by SSPCA yesterday.
“Much of the problem of stray dogs stems from irresponsible dog owners who do not follow the local council by-laws and allow their own dogs to roam freely.
“SSPCA strongly urges the local councils across Sarawak to strictly enforce their by-laws and fine the dog owners, at an increasing rate each time, until they learn that their dogs must not be allowed to roam freely, and must be on a leash if they are walking their dogs outside their own compounds,” asserted the statement.
President of SSPCA Datin Dona Wee was quoted as saying: “Additionally, we suggest that if the dog is sitting outside the gate waiting to go in, don’t catch the dog, catch the owner.”
She added that only dogs with unknown status should be caught.
During the house-to-house vaccination programme, SSPCA found that more than half of owned dogs had not been vaccinated against rabies.
“Much of this stems from the dog owners’ attitude; they fail to understand or choose to ignore the fact that an unvaccinated dog can be a real threat to their family members. This is a large part of the problem,” pointed out the statement.
The statement concluded by quoting V. Ramakumar, founder-secretary of the Veterinary Council of India and former president of the Indian Society for Veterinary Surgery, as saying: “The problem of stray dog populations and the resultant human-animal conflict in urban settings needs to be seen not just as a social question, but as a developmental challenge as well.”