‘Irresponsible pet ownership main reason for the increase in number of stray animals’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
GOVERNMENT legislation alongside affordable neutering is the only sustainable way to reduce the number of stray animals in Brunei.
Ada Ang, co-founder of non-governmental organisation Care and Action for Strays, said one of the main contributing factors to the number of stray animals in Brunei is irresponsible pet ownership. This includes owners not neutering their pets, allowing them to roam free and mate and dumping them when they are unable to care for them. She said the government needs to establish legislation that requires owners to neuter their pets and at the same time collaborate with private clinics to make neutering more affordable.
“It (currently) costs $180 to neuter a female dog and $150 for a male dog,” said Ang.
Ang said an educational program about responsible ownership should be conducted before the legislation is enforced alongside a move by private clinics to run a countrywide program with special promotional prices for neutering pets. She said one of the main reasons people choose to dump unwanted litters of pets rather than neuter them is because of the high cost of neutering, so affordable prices must go hand in hand with the legislation to prevent a mass dumping of pets by owners who can’t afford the cost.
Care and Action for Strays is currently at maximum capacity sheltering about 100 dogs and 80 cats.
Ang added that as a volunteer group, the main challenge they face is the lack of funding and resources to catch, neuter, feed and re-home all the animals they’ve sheltered.
She added that the current ways people are dealing with stray animals is either relocating them or poisoning them, which serves only as an immediate reaction to the problem with short-term results.
“Not only (is poisoning) ineffective, but it also brings out the worst in mankind, as poisoning is very cruel and inhumane,” said Ang.
“Trapping, neutering and releasing have (been) proven (in many countries as the) most effective and sustainable stray management tools to reduce the number of strays,” she said.
“Animals are very territorial. If you neuter them and release them back to the same location, they will stop breeding and die a natural death,” she added.
“The public must be patient. The method is effective, but it takes time.”
The Brunei Times