Calls to tackle attacks by stray dogs met with government silence

Stray dogs dog
(Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN Jordanians have taken to social media platforms, calling on the government to address the problem of attacks by stray dogs.اضافة اعلان

The demand has assumed more urgency after the recent increase in such attacks, with people accusing the government, represented by the Ministry of Local Administration, of staying completely silent and doing nothing about the crisis, especially when it comes to children.

According to Russeifa Mayor Shadi Al-Zeinati, “the municipality gets dozens of complains on daily basis”.

“On Tuesday, we dealt with seven cases of stray dogs that entered people’s houses,” he told Jordan News, adding that the municipality was unable to deal with dozens of other cases of stray dogs loose in the streets.

By way of solution, he said he agrees with the Animal Birth Control (ABC) program, which was set up by the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) last year to control the proliferation of dogs.

“However, this program has a high financial cost and requires developed infrastructure, qualified and trained staff, and special equipment,” he pointed out. This is financing that municipalities would be hard pressed to obtain, if at all, he added.

At the same time, “we need at least one year” to take care of the situation, “which is a long time” considering the urgency of the situation and “the daily attacks on locals and some children”, he said.

According to Zeinati, shooting stray dogs had always been a solution, until a decision by the Ministry of Local Administration prohibited killing them in order to comply with the Kingdom’s commitments to the international community.

“We used to kill stray dogs, and they did not go extinct, and people were not harmed. Now we should choose between the lives and safety of citizens or the lives of stray dogs,” he said.

Samia Saadah, grandmother of a five-year-old girl who was attacked by a stray dog near her house in Salihiyat Al Abid, some 8km east of Amman, told Jordan News that “dozens of stray dogs live nearby and attack people”.

Her granddaughter was attacked when she was walking to a supermarket in her neighborhood.

“Luckily, she only fell to the ground and was wounded. Thank God that doctors sutured the wound, which was above her eye,” she said.

Hazem Al Yacoub, an animal rights activist, told Jordan News that “the solution is to activate the ABC program,” which has already been implemented in some parts of Amman and Aqaba “with impressive results, since complaints about stray dog attacks in those areas has significantly decreased.”

However, Yacoub agrees that the ABC program requires a large number of workers, special equipment, and infrastructure to ensure that the desired results.

Jordan News tried to no avail to contact the Ministry of Local Administration in order to get more information about the ministry’s measures to address the issue of stray dogs.

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