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Responsible dog ownership and waste and population management will reduce stray dog menace; Says UK experts


 Responsible dog ownership, Waste management and population management based on behavioural changes are the thrust areas required for control of stray dog menace in the State, Says Dr.Heather Bacon, Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager at University of Edinburgh’s Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, UK. Heather made this remark while delivering keynote address during the Inauguration of two day International workshop held at Hotel Ashoka Inn, Thrissur as part of joint collaboration between Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and University of Edinburgh, UK on 28th November 2016. Workshop focuses on Canine medicine, behaviour and population management of dogs. Animal birth control measures must be implemented in a sustainable manner. Policy makers need to have clear awareness on dog population, dog density, human-dog ration, age, sex ratio and demographic factors including available resources for formulating sustainable dog control measures. Behavioural changes of stray and rearing dogs vary differently. Dog owners need to be given awareness on population management, behavioural pattern, reproduction and vaccination in a timely manner. Detailed history on migrating dogs including their resources needs to be identified. Culling of dogs occurs in developing countries. But there is no evidence that culling operations have any significant effects on controlling rabies. Stray dog population are usually supported by unregulated breeding of owned dogs. Moreover owned dogs are more responsible for more bites which occur in the home itself. Responsible pet ownership will prevent the public health issues associated with increasing dog population. Since stray dogs rely on discarded human resources to survive, grow and reproduce, resource restriction with population control will facilitate sustainable results. Reproductive control will correct dog population and facilitate rabies control. Even though medical options of birth control are available in developed countries, many are not validated. So surgical methods need to be followed. We need to understand local geographic and demographic challenges since dog ownership is different in Asian and African countries. So different approaches are needed. Evaluation of success in dog population management depends on absolute population, relative indexes of dog abundance, dog human ratio, sex ratio, mortality rate, percentage of puppies, estimates of fecundity and immigration data. Reactive culling is unscientific and not supported by evidence. Effective dog population management strategies require long term investment, strategic partnership and cross sectoral collaboration. For this first define your goals and know your dogs; Heather added.
Dr.Joseph Mathew, Registrar, KVASU inaugurated the programme and Director (Academics Research) Dr.K.Devada presided over the function. Director of Entrepreneurship Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan released the workshop manual. Board of Management members Dr.Sisilamma George, Dr.Sabin George and Dr.M.K.Narayanan and Finance Officer Dr.K.M.Syam Mohan offered felicitations. Director of International Co-operation Dr.K.P.Sreekumar welcomed the delegates and Co-ordinator Dr.Syam K Venugopal expressed vote of thanks. 60 Veterinarians are participating in the two day Workshop.
Different sessions include dog populations, methods and strategies, human animal benefit of Animal birth control programmes, dog behaviour and veterinary care, canine anaesthesia, surgery, post operative management and pain relief. Dr.Heather Bacon, Dr.Jack Reece, Hayley Walters and Dr.Philippa Welsh, Scientists and experts from University of Edinburgh, UK are leading the sessions. This workshop aims to develop an understanding of successful dog population management strategies that benefit both human and animal populations and to promote leadership amongst Veterinary professionals involved in developing dig management strategies. The Workshop will provide a holistic toolkit of evidence based dog population management information on topic including Veterinary medicine and surgery and understanding of Science and practice of dog population management and real life experiences.

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