Mayhew Animal Home’s landmark agreement to save dogs in Afghanistan
PUBLISHED: 16:53 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 26 January 2017
A Kensal Green charity has signed a landmark agreement with Afghanistan to end dog culling and introduce an animal welfare strategy.
The Mayhew Animal Home is also a registered NGO in the country and their Afghanistan Project Manager, Dr. Abdul Jalil Mohammadzai DVM (doctor of veterinary medicine), met with dignitaries from the Kabul Munipality last week.
Signed on Tuesday January 22, the deal will also incorporate a sustained rabies vaccination programme along with a humane dog population programme.
It means the Kabul Municipality will halt the current practice of poisoning stray dogs in the city allowing The Mayhew to lead the way for rabies vaccination and prevention, animal welfare initiatives and education in Kabul and Afghanistan.
The agreement follows the first dog population survey in the region carried out by the charity back in 2015 and analysis into managing Kabul’s street dogs.
Resulting plans and recommendations clearly pointed to eliminating rabies and making the city safer for humans and animals alike.
With support from the Afghan government, city authorities and NGOs, The Mayhew will deploy a rabies vaccination and Trap Neuter Return programme in Kabul City to neuter street dogs.
The Mayhew’s CEO, Caroline Yates, spoke of her delight at the deal, saying: “The Mayhew does not support inhumane methods of controlling the spread of the rabies virus and dog populations and believes that the mass culling of animals, simply to remove them from the streets, is cruel, ineffective and not sustainable.”
She went on to explain that educating communities is “the key to spreading the word about rabies prevention” and described a similar programme in Ranchi, India, which has so far vaccinated 50,000 dogs over eight years as well as educating more than 270,000 children and adults.
“This is a proven result for a rabies prevention model we want to achieve in Kabul, collaborating with other organisations,” she added.
The Mayhew has been working in Afghanistan since 2001 and Dr Mohammadzai has provided training for vets and students at Kabul University Veterinary Faculty and the Afghan Stray Animal League and Nowzad since the charity first backed them in 2006.