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Animal welfare group protests Sh100m stray dogs extermination plan in Nairobi

World Animal Protection has opposed plans by Nairobi City County to kill more than 50,000 stray dogs in the city.

The lobby group has argued the county to instead direct the funds to a vaccination and sterilization exercises.

“We urge the county government to immediately abandon plans to kill stray and roaming dogs. The authorities can find better means to manage the increasing dog population in Nairobi and its environs,” said Tennyson Williams, the World Animal Protection director.

“Culling dogs is a cruel, needless and ineffective attempt to control rabies and manage stray dog populations. The county should seek expert advice on alternative options,” Tennyson added.

VACCINATION

According to the lobby group, the Sh100 million set aside to cull the dogs could be used to vaccinate all dogs in Nairobi for a period of seven years at a cost of Sh300 per vaccine cycle.

“Vaccination will need to be done alongside a sterilization programme too, but it could be a fantastic mass dog vaccination scheme with this kind of budget,” the organization said.

Last month, Muriithi Muhari, the county Veterinary Services director said Nairobi will spend Sh100 million to kill stray dogs in the next one year in the city.

Muhari said the dogs are a nuisance in public places and have in the past have bitten school children and caused road accidents around the city.

KILLING DOGS

According to the lobby group, killing dogs undermines vaccination efforts where the turnover of dogs is high.

“There is no evidence culling alone has ever led to a reduced population. Dogs’ population will continue rising, unless the government puts in place systems and structures to support sterilization,” the organisation said.

A perception survey undertaken in Nairobi indicates that 85 percent of dog owners in Nairobi are ready to take their dogs for vaccination and population control services if the services are available.

“Unfortunately, these services are not available,” the lobby group said.