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UK approach to reduce strays


(From left) MBPP councillor Ong Ah Teong, Yew, Maimumah, Khong, Ng and a state Veterinary Department staff member at the signing ceremony between MBPP and International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA) at the City Hall, Penang.

(From left) MBPP councillor Ong Ah Teong, Yew, Maimumah, Khong, Ng and a state Veterinary Department staff member at the signing ceremony between MBPP and International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA) at the City Hall, Penang.

THE mission to trap, neuter and release (TNR) every stray and feral dog in Penang island will being in earnest early next year.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA) signed a memorandum of understanding to plan and implement this, in line with the city council’s 2015-2019 Zero Stray Programme.

Mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said, after the signing ceremony in City Hall yesterday, MBPP would adopt IAPWA’s global dog neutering project.

“We need to reduce the number of stray and feral dogs, statistically track their population, ensure that the issue is tackled humanely and spread a positive message about TNR,” she said.

IAPWA is an award-winning animal welfare organisation from the United Kingdom and its programmes are funded by donors from around the globe.

Its international TNR programmes had been successful in countries such as Tanzania and India.

MBPP Financial Management Standing Committee alternate chairman Joseph Ng Soon Siang, who were among the MoU signatories, said the city council would provide the manpower and facilities for catching the dogs.

“IAPWA will supply the neutering skills and bear the veterinary costs involved,” he said.

Also signing were MBPP secretary Yew Tung Seang and IAPWA Sabah project director Anita Khong.

Since 2014, IAPWA has also been conducting a similar programme in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and even started a dog adoption centre in that city.

IAPWA also has campaigns to help rhinoceroses, elephants, lions, sun bears and against the dog meat trade around the world.

Khong said the TNR programme was more effective and humane than the conventional method of culling stray and feral dogs.

“It will not show a reduction of dogs in the streets initially, but in the long run, the neutering will see their numbers reduced significantly.

“After the neutering, the dogs will be less aggressive and have a lower risk to our communities,” she said.

The number of stray dogs on the island has not been ascertained, but it was previously estimated to be about 15,000.

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