300 stray dogs neutered in Langkawi so far

Tang says the TNR programme started in January 2023 in Langkawi and is ongoing. — Photos courtesy of Ecomy

NEUTERED strays in Langkawi can now be identified by their snipped off ear-tips.

Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (Ecomy) has been working with Langkawi Municipal Council to carry out the trap, neuter and release (TNR) programme on the island.

Ecomy volunteer Juliana Tang said so far 300 dogs had been neutered.

“If you see a dog in Langkawi with a snipped ear or with a tiny cut, it means this canine has been spayed or neutered.

“We are doing this to help reduce the number of strays on the island,” she said.

Tang believes the effect can only be seen in about three years’ time, similar to what Penang had gone through previously.

“The local council catches the dogs and we will take it from there.

“The concept is the same and we operate out of a dog kennel built by the local council here.

“We have veterinarians come in once a month to neuter or spay up to 20 dogs.

“While we would love to do more, we are doing what we can based on existing resources,” she said.

Volunteer Naho Kamimura with a stray at the kennel managed by the NGO. — Photos courtesy of EcomyVolunteer Naho Kamimura with a stray at the kennel managed by the NGO. — Photos courtesy of Ecomy

Tang said the initiative started in January 2023 and is an ongoing process.

“Ecomy has signed a memorandum of understanding with the council to run the kennel.

“The kennel operations and TNR procedures are completely funded by donors,” she said.

Tang said Langkawi also had plenty of stray cats, but dogs seem to be the main issue, with their numbers in the thousands.

Ecomy is however planning a spaying programme that includes felines.

“We are organising a mass neutering session with local veterinarians, involving 50 dogs and around 80 to 100 cats.

“This will be the largest number we will neuter in a span of two days.

“It is a collaboration between us and a few government agencies and private donors.

“While there will still be strays, this method will gradually reduce their number in the coming years.

“We encourage those who are familiar with stray dogs to co-exist with them.

“It is always better to have the dogs that you know rather than new stray dogs from other areas, which will turn up if you chase the old ones away,” she said.

Tang said challenges faced by Ecomy included funding, which had prevented the NGO from carrying out more procedures.

“Another challenge has been creating awareness on how TNR works,” she said.

Tang welcomes universities and veterinarians who would like to participate in their activities as well as companies that would like to sponsor the neutering programme.

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