October 16, 2016
Humane dog population management program launched in Dhaka North
Obhoyaronno and Humane Society International, with support from Dhaka North City Corporation, launch a program to sterilize and vaccinate 5,000 dogs in one year in zone 3
Obhoyaronno, also known as the Bangladesh Animal Welfare Foundation, and Humane Society International have formally launched a rabies prevention and humane dog population management program in Dhaka North today. The program, known as “Shetu,” which means a bridge in Bangla, seeks to sterilize and vaccinate 5,000 free-roaming dogs in zone 3 in one year.
In April 2016, Obhoyaronno, Humane Society International and Dhaka North City Corporation entered into a tripartite MoU, wherein the DNCC was responsible for providing space for a dog sterilization facility and two vehicles. HSI is contributing approximately US$ 200,000 for this project and has appointed a program manager to help Obhoyaronno in implementing this pilot effectively. Up until 2012, the DNCC culled the free-roaming dog population but in 2014, Obhoyaronno and HSI managed to get a complete stay on dog-culling in Bangladesh through a long, legal battle.
Rahul Sehgal, co-director, companion animals and engagement, HSI, said, “Humane Society International is not only funding the cost of vaccination and surgery, but also providing expertise and guidance in carrying out an effective and a humane dog population management pilot. We are pleased to be working with Obhoyaronno and the Dhaka North City Corporation to make Shetu a success for both dogs and humans.”
A dog population survey conducted by the HSI earlier this year found that approximately 37,000 dogs live in Dhaka, of which 24,000 are in Dhaka North and the rest are in South. Between 2012 and 2014, Obhoyaronno implemented a dog population management program that sterilized and vaccinated approximately 10,000 dogs. However, to break the transmission cycle of rabies and to receive the full benefits of this program, at least 80 percent of the city’s total dog population have to be vaccinated and sterilized.
In the recent months, Obhoyaronno has also received a commitment from Bishal Foundation, for providing a branded vehicle to run a citywide community education program on rabies and street dog population management. This vehicle will be the first of a four vehicle convoy in Dhaka.
The groups held the launch of Shetu at a refurbished dog sterilization facility in the Mohakhali market area. The honorable mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, Annisul Hoq; Maya Barolo-Rizvi, country director, HSI; and Mr. Abul Khayer Litu, chairman, Bishal Foundation, attended the event.
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