RANGOON — Municipal authorities in Rangoon have announced they will begin a neutering program to curb the number of street dogs in Burma’s largest city, after an outcry over the poisoning of local strays.
Dog lovers and animal rights activists had earlier made known their opposition to the Yangon City Development Committee’s (YCDC) dog culling policy as an inhumane method of dealing with the city’s street dog population, estimated to number in the tens of thousands.
Dr Aye Min, a southern district committee member of the YCDC who is responsible for animal affairs under the Veterinary and Slaughterhouses Department, told The Irrawaddy that, the body is planning for a neutering program in response to feedback from Rangoon residents, which will initially target about 20 percent of the stray population.
“Dog lovers prefer neutering to killing,” he said. “We will collect the dog population in townships and seek input from the residents for the plan.”
Aye Min said that the YCDC would have to continue the extermination of dogs showing signs of rabies or other communicable diseases. He told The Irrawaddy that some dogs were neutered last year but a citywide approach would require more manpower to catch the strays, administer the operations and care for the animals during their recovery.
“If any dog lovers or animal rescue groups can collaborate with us, it would be easier,” he said.
Myat Thet Mon, the owner of a shelter for 300 stray dogs in Thanlyin Township, welcomed the plan and said she would be happy to assist.
“It is really upsetting to watch dogs suffer after being poisoned,” she said. “Since the YCDC will now use birth control, which was unaffordable in the past, I am very pleased.”