Talk of dogs in Bahrain amid demos & shooting

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2011:
MANAMA– Thousands of opponents of the regime of King Hamad
bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain reoccupied central Manama on February
20, 2011 after troops were withdrawn, following gunfire that left
at least five protesters dead and 25 missing.
Amid the demonstrations, which began on Valentine’s Day,
“Residents across Bahrain have come out in force with suggestions on
how to tackle the increasing number of stray dogs plaguing the
country,” reported Basma Mohammed of Gulf News. “Dozens of e-mails
have been sent to Central Municipal Council chair Abdulrazzaq Al
Hattab following his appeal,” on February 8, “for ideas to find a
solution to the problem. The animals have been accused of attacking
cattle and leaving many residents too afraid to leave their homes at
night.”


Basma Mohammed said Bahrain councillors were “looking for
ways to solve the issue without resorting to the old method of
shooting strays. It is estimated that there are at least 1,000 stray
dogs roaming the streets of the governorate,” Mohammed wrote.
“Some suggestions included establishing animal shelters
across Bahrain and allowing people to adopt a pet, following the
example of western countries,” Basma Mohammed continued. “Others
call for pet owners to be forced to have electronic tags fitted to
their animals and pay a fee to go toward monitoring strays. Many
called for the stray dogs to be caught and be spayed or neutered,
while others warned of a possible outbreak of rabies and a need to
have sufficient stocks of post-exposure vaccine.”
Al Hattab told Gulf News that “plans are underway to organise
a workshop to finalise suggestions and take them over to the Public
Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and
Wildlife to get their views. They can adopt the ideas that seem
practical and help push them to the government. A committee will
then be established to implement approved suggestions.”
TNR Bahrain founder Ben van Hoogen, working with the Dutch
organization AniMedics, estimated in 2009 that about 25,000 feral
cats and 15,000 street dogs roam Bahrain. “People don’t see the
whole problem because cats and dogs hide away in the day time,” van
Hoogen told Gulf News in April 2010, “but after 2 a.m. you see
hundreds.”

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