MZADD blames migrants for the rise in stray dogs

Mzuzu, May 18, 2018: Mzuzu Agriculture Development Division (Mzadd) has bemoaned the tendency by some city residents to abandon their dogs whenever they relocate to other areas, saying the situation has given rise to stray dogs in the city.
Speaking in an interview Wednesday, Mzadd Programmes Manager Wellington Phewa, said the rise in stray dogs is compromising efforts to fight rabies in the city as there is nobody to take them for vaccination.
Phewa bemoaned that Mzadd and Mzuzu City Council’s joint effort to remove homeless dogs from the streets is seemingly in vain as the number keeps increasing.
“We are still encountering the problem of increase in stray dogs because most people, when moving out of the city, tend to leave their dogs behind without anyone to care for them,” he said.
He added that though city bylaws restrict the number of dogs per household to two, some have more dogs which they fail to manage.
 “We are appealing to all people to be responsible and look after their dogs because if they abandon them, the dogs risk becoming rabid which is a health risk to communities,” Phewa said.
Currently, the population of dogs in the city is about 12,000, according to Phewa.
“This is an alarming figure but with help from our stakeholders, we are working tirelessly to reduce the reproductive rate which is currently at six percent,” he said.
In the past, Mzadd and the city council could gun down stray dogs but the practice was halted after
All Creatures Welfare Trust, a non-governmental organization advocating for humane treatment of animals offered free sterilization.
“We plan to hold sterilization clinics twice a year, as one way of helping reduce the population of dogs in the city.
“Although they are animals, they are creatures that feel pain and need to be respected,” said the Trust’s country director, Dr. Richard Ssuna recently during the sterilization of 250 dogs at Luwinga in the city.

From Malawi News Agency

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