Nowadays the problem involving stray dogs is a burning issue! Globally there is an estimate of 500 million dogs, of which 80% of them are homeless or rejected by their owners. Certain inhabitants are ready to approve any steps taken by the Government even though these measures are based on inhumane methods of killing due to several reasons:
1. Stray dogs have basically nowhere to go and therefore end up strolling freely on the road. Unfortunately, these dogs might be the cause of drivers losing control of their vehicles and be the cause of deadly accidents.
2. Dogs are always hungry, especially stray dogs which are not fed properly. They might ramble into a private garden in the neighborhood and cause harm to other pets. Else, they enjoy opening garbage bags which get scattered on the road, not only causing accidents but also blocking drains and canals during heavy rainfall. Besides, these scenes are also an eye sore for the ever-increasing tourist population.
3. Homeless dogs most of the time bark and howl when involved with another dog causing great disturbance in the whole neighborhood. Furthermore, these types of dogs have nowhere to go and usually end up under buildings where they might find rotten food and dying after consumption. This causes a horrible odor, disturbing the neighborhood even more and is the attraction of flies and other insects which are the starting point of diseases like malaria.
4. Female street dogs usually are calm and reserved but when it involves their puppies, they have the tendency to become aggressive and bite any innocent passers-by by accidents through the sole intention of protecting their little ones
While animal lovers will do anything to protect animals and people who consider stray animals like a nuisance, somewhere, both parties are right, and solutions have to be found in order to satisfy both the dogs “haters” and “lovers”.
CRUELTY TOWARDS STRAY DOGS
Despite being considered as one of the most loyal friend, man can have, dogs in Mauritius are still subject to several botherations. From the “Catch and Kill” program initiated by laughably named, MSAW (Mauritius Society for Animal Welfare) to several inhumane attacks by members of the public themselves, homeless dogs are having a hard-enough time surviving as it is, without being hunted down and killed in painful ways.
After having suspended such barbaric canine executions about 4 years ago fearing backlash and tourists boycott from Daily Mail which initially uncovered these despicable practices, authorities now seem to have got back on the old track, that is they have reinstated the “Catch and Kill” program. But this time, the government is claiming to be catching dogs as they are being considered a “nuisance” to tourists. But recent footages have shown contradicting elements about the dogs being caught. Even if the dog is just lying in the sun and not bothering any people, they are picked up and thrown into a truck. Public outcry four years ago stopped this from happening, but it has started again and this time with far more inhumane and cruel ways where the MSAW is showcasing its strict budget. In fact, investigations from international organizations such as PETA revealed through a video that dogs being killed from an injection of cleaning agents. The dogs then stagger around and eventually collapse, while the remaining dogs try desperately to escape by climbing the gates and walls of the kennel. The bodies of the dogs are taken care of later as they’re thrown and buried in mass graves.
ECONOMIC SIDE EFFECTS DUE TO STRAY DOGS
The presence of stray dogs at roadsides and beaches projects the image of an uncaring society. For Mauritius, a country which is so reliant on the tourism industry as a major component of its Gross National Product, strays are terrible. Tourists surely won’t come back if smelly dogs keep pestering them during a beautiful picnic on the beach. Feral dog attacks on tourists —as well as locals— only further add to the negative image of Mauritius. The tourism industry is indeed a fickle one and any negative publicity on the island can have serious economic consequences. Other considerations that should also be noted when calculating the impact of strays and roaming pets to the economy include the actual costs of animal control (time, equipment, manpower) and the burden of illness (cost of health care) on society because of illness or injury caused by strays.