A total of 248 stray dogs have been captured during the first four weeks of the 8-week intensive Stray Dog Control Campaign in the Central and Western Divisions.
The four weeks of trapping has been carried out simultaneously in Lami, Suva and Lautoka.
Awareness is also carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Animal Health and Production Division, with the selling of dog licenses carried out in the day, followed by the trapping exercise during the night in these same areas.
Trapped dogs are taken to pounds belonging to the Ministry and municipal councils where Veterinarians and qualified Para-vets carry out the assessment of these trapped dogs, making an informed decision based on their assessment.
Dogs that pass the assessment are being de-sexed by Animals Fiji in the Western Division and SPCA in the Central Division.
Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr. Mahendra Reddy said the de-sexed dogs were available for adoption and re-homing.
He said the assessed dogs who have been found to have a good temperament are put up for adoption and re-homing, and members of the public who are pet lovers will only need to pay for the license for the re-homing and adoption of these dogs, which is $13.20 per dog to be paid on an annual basis.
He also added that for those de-sexed dogs that have not been claimed or re-homed within a certain period of time, the Ministry of Agriculture shall be releasing these dogs back into the areas they were trapped in as part of the TNR (Trap Neuter and release) program.
TNR is a long term solution, and it prevents the increase of the stray dog population by preventing them from reproducing and allows the stray dog population to die out naturally. By releasing these de-sexed dogs back into the same location, these dogs will also keep other stray dogs out of their territory.
The Ministry of Agriculture will continue with the trapping of stray dogs in towns and cities and will be working very closely with its stakeholders SPCA, Animals Fiji and Pacific Animal Shelter & Hospital (PASH) Fiji to eradicate stray and wild dogs.
The Ministry will also enforce dog legislation on people who do not abide by the law and will upgrade and strengthen the services of the Spay and Neuter Program with the approved budget for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.