Over a thousand stray dogs were neutered in the Kingdom last year, it emerged. According to the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, hundreds of dogs are being neutered every week as part of efforts to contain the stray menace. The ministry also confirmed that the drive is in co-operation with BSPCA and that the process is done without harming dogs in any way.
The ministry’s effort comes as the number of strays in Bahrain grew greatly in recent decades. There are more than 25,000 stray dogs in Bahrain and the number was only one third three years ago. Municipal councils have expressed concern over the rapid rise in the number of stray dogs. They even discussed ways to solve the issue. The municipalities then began catching stray dogs and transporting them to Askar to release them to open fields. Efforts were also made in recent months to neuter the stray dogs.
A private veterinary clinic was appointed to implement the Catch Neuter and Release (CNR) program. President of the Southern Municipal Council, Bader Al Tamimi pointed out that the attacks by stray dogs are spreading panic among citizens, residents, parents and school students. The Councillor reportedly stressed that animal rights should not remain an obstacle to the most basic rights of citizens and residents which, he noted, are their safety and security. Many children were injured in stray dogs’ attacks last year.
Animal rights activist Fathiya Al Bastaki, who runs Bahrain Stray’s, said that there should be efforts to change the misconception about stray dogs in the minds of many. “The fear in the minds of many must vanish to enhance the image and affection towards stray dogs. I would like to suggest that the authorities allow us to give lectures to schoolboys in primary and intermediate and to teach them how to handle these situations. “It is not practically possible to trap all stray dogs and take them away. And it is inhuman to kill or poison innocent dogs. But we can teach these schoolboys and even elders as to how to be happy and without fear while dogs are around,” Ms Al Bastaki added.