1 July, Thimphu: The Department of Livestock (DoL) launched the National Dog Population Management (DPM) Strategy to improve the health and welfare of dogs, reduce dog population, achieve zero human deaths due to rabies by 2030 and create a positive impression of Bhutan for visitors making Bhutan a safer and happier place with minimum nuisance and dog threats.
The revised strategy will mainly mainstream the DPM program at the national, Dzongkhag, thromde and gewog levels; ensure animal birth control of free roaming dogs and encourage adoption of stray dogs through community-based approaches and human behavioural changes.
The strategy will also involve animal welfare organisations, implement effective feral DPM jointly with wildlife sector and reinforce public awareness on DPM and rabies. It will further ensure the regular monitoring and evaluation through field population surveys and indicator counts among others to measure the program impact. The government’s recently launched flagship program on waste management will also support implementation of the strategy.
Realising the need to effective DPM through scientific, humane and sustainable manner, the government initiated the animal birth control/anti-rabies vaccination programs in line with international standards. From 2009 onwards, the DoL and Humane Society International, USA launched a long term project titled, National DPM and Rabies Control Project in Bhutan. A total of about 92,000 dogs were sterilised and vaccinated against rabies covering 20 Dzongkhags at the end of the project’s third phase in June 2018.
With increasing human population and urbanisation, the revised strategy will ensure to continue and reinforce the DPM activities using new and innovative measures.
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