By Yankuba Jallow
Interior Minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty, has said that sterilizing dogs will curb the problems related to their control and minimize their population. Mr. Fatty made this remark at the Friday sitting of the Second Ordinary Session of the National Assembly in the 2017 Legislative year.
Minister of the Interior Mai Fatty
The question raised by the National Assembly member of Janjanbureh was whether the Interior Minister was aware of the increasing number of stray dogs within the Janjanbureh Island to the extent that they kill small ruminants and sometimes attempt to unbury the dead at graveyards.
Mr. Fatty said stray dogs problem is not unique in The Gambia, but that it exist all over Asia and Africa adding that removal or killing them seems to be the most obvious method of controlling their population; but that this has actually proven to be completely useless. He supported his argument by saying that even if dogs are killed in large numbers, the conditions that sustain their populations remain unchanged. He averred that dogs live in territories and each lives in specific areas; that if dogs are removed, it can cause many effects. He continues to say that dogs breed at a high rate which can cause a rapid increase in their population in a short period of time.
He said the removal of dogs actually increases dog related problems; that the effective solution is to sterilise them as other countries do, vaccinate them against rabies and put them back in their areas. He said the importance of such practise is that each dog guards its own territory and does not allow new dogs to enter and mate. Mr. Fatty said this will also eliminate the main factors that lead to their aggressiveness such as migration and mating. He said over a period of time, as the sterilised dogs die, their population will be greatly reduced. He promised that his Ministry will engage the Ministry of Health and relevant stakeholders to address the issue.