FIJI now has an explosive street dog crisis and urgent action must be taken to address the problem, says Lautoka animal activist Mohammed Khan.
“A dog can produce 16 puppies a year – then those puppies grow up and breed,” he said.
“Over six generations, this translates to a staggering 67,000 unwanted puppies that end up on the streets.
“Government-sponsored animal birth control programs operate in many other countries around the world with similar problems.
“The animals undergo a simple, quick and safe operation carried out by qualified veterinarians and the breeding cycle of more and more animals is immediately stopped.”
Mr Khan believed the government had an opportunity to provide a simple solution to the street dog crisis by offering free pet de-sexing.
The Lautoka man, who is also the spokesperson for the Greater Good Foundation animal sanctuary, also called for an end to the policy of some councils paying workers to trap and kill, or poison street dogs the night.
“Fiji is on the global stage and depends on tourism for its economic well-being.
“These terrible policies end up in brutal images being spread all over the world on social media. This is unacceptable cruelty – and the world expects better of us.
The Foundation provides sanctuary for over 200 street dogs and runs a birth control and feeding program for animals living on the streets in the West Division.
Over the past year they have been responsible for the de-sexing of hundreds of animals and are making a huge contribution to controlling the street dog population.