To help humanely address the number of free-roaming dogs on Kabul’s streets, Mayhew Afghanistan has announced the opening of their new Animal Birth Control Centre (ABC) on 7 July 2019.
The clinic – created in conjunction with various Afghan authorities – follows on from two successful years of Mayhew’s mass canine rabies vaccination programme, which has seen 38,023 dogs vaccinated against rabies as of June 2019 and no recorded rabies death in humans in Kabul in 2018.
The centre’s spay and neuter programme aims to neuter almost 10,000 dogs in the first year, which will help to control the current population of free-roaming dogs and create safer and healthier communities – helping to combat the spread of Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour (CTVT) and other zoonotic diseases.
Dogs will be caught, brought to the ABC clinic, assessed, neutered and vaccinated against rabies. Then, once recovered from surgery, they will be released back to their territory in the city. All the clinic staff, dog catching team and support personnel are local Afghans who are fully committed to delivering this programme – which is a first for Afghanistan and for the region.
The opening event on Sunday saw over 100 people attend, including the Mayor and first Deputy Mayor of Kabul, Head of Animal Directorate with Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Deputy Chancellor of Kabul University, Dean of Veterinary Faculty, representatives from Kabul Zoo, the Head of Sanitation at Kabul Municipality, and Leaders from Kabul’s 16 districts.
Mayor of Kabul, Mr Ahmad Zaki Sarfiraz, said, “The huge number of stray dogs and rabies has been a big problem for Kabul residents. With the partnership of Mayhew and MAIL, we have managed to vaccinate over 70 per cent of dogs in 16 districts of Kabul. We are pleased to announce that the 2nd phase of the programme for better management of the dog population started last week and we are officially opening the ABC centre in Kabul today.
“As we see now, the mass poisoning programme never worked for the control of dog population and even made the situation worse. Our new strategy is based on the accepted practice of global organisations, and we will see better results in the coming years.”
Country Director of Mayhew Afghanistan, Dr Abdul-Jalil Mohammadzai DVM, explained how the clinic is the latest part of a longer term strategy in Kabul, “The move toward rabies elimination and humane dog population management, and capacity building of the government sectors is one of Mayhew’s key strategies in Afghanistan.
“With the training of government-related departments, we can ensure the sustainability of the programme in the long term. Raising awareness about dog bites and street dog behaviour is a key factor and Mayhew will be proactive in delivering an education programme which can save both human and animal lives.”
Images by Mayhew.