May 11, Thimphu: The Hon’ble Lyonpo, Yeshey Dorji conferred the ‘Outstanding Animal Protection Award’ to Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Director for the Department of Livestock (DoL) in a simple award ceremony held at the Ministry’s conference hall.
The National Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Project under the National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH), Serbethang won the award during the Annual Animal Care Expo held in New Orleans, USA in April 2015. It was given by the Humane Society International (HSI) for their excellent work in animal welfare, sterilisation and vaccination of free roaming dogs in Bhutan.
The project initiated in 2009 is a joint venture between DoL and HSI. The project first phase was ended in 2012 sterilising and vaccinating 36 987 dogs and 1548 cats in 20 Dzongkhags through catch, neuter, vaccinate and release (CNVR) protocol. Under the second phase, the project covered 19224 dogs and cats, trained 33 Bhutanese vets, carried out mass sterilisation and vaccination campaign covering 2500 free roaming dogs and launched the community animal birth control program among others.
The project is a humane attempt to control the dog population in the country after the past initiatives like shooting, poisoning, translocation and impounding failed.
With the success of both phases, the NCAH is all set for starting its third phase in July for which the Ministry has allocated Nu. 10.23 million while the HSI has committed Nu. 5563,140 for another three years.
Following the award ceremony, the Hon’ble MoAF Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup took the opportunity to clarify some of the issues on upcoming meat processing unit in Serbithang to the members present including the representatives from the Jangsa Animal Saving Trust, Royal Society for Protection and Care of Animals, Bhutan Foundation and media among others.
Dasho informed that the unit is being set up to process meat products like ham, bacon, meat balls, minced meat, sausages and others ensuring the highest nutrition and safety standards at affordable prices. He also clarified that the Ministry does not have plans to export meat as mentioned in the Kuensel and also shared that the idea about opening a slaughterhouse is yet to be finalised.
Dasho informed that the Ministry is taking good care of animal welfare with full support being provided to the entire animal welfare organisations as and when required. Dasho further urged everyone that we should come together and find a middle path solution to avoid confusion in the future.
Tshering Doma with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICS
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