Recently, Bhutan has been in the international news for successfully neutering all stray dogs after a 14-year long project.
Bhutan has declared itself the first country in the world to have completely sterilised and vaccinated its entire stray dog population, following a 14-year dog population control programme.
A global animal charity, Humane Society International (HSI), that helped implement the programme made the announcement.
Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering announced the completion of the National Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Project, noting that the project has successfully sterilised and vaccinated over 150,000 strays since its inception.
The project, which began in 2009, also included microchipping 32,000 pet dogs.
Photo credit: The Guardian
As far as we know, The Netherlands was the first country to achieve zero stray dog status. It took them 200 years to do it with governmental and people support. Now, there are no more stray dogs in The Netherlands, but cats are still free roaming but neutered and vaccinated, again, with governmental support.
Now, Bhutan is the first country to have neutered all their stray dogs and the neutered dogs are still free roaming as their people accepts the presence of street dogs. It took the small country 14 years to achieve this. Well, Kudos to them and to HSI for doing the project with concerted efforts!
So we take a look at our country now. Where are we?
We could write a treatise to answer the “Where are we?” question but we shall not do that. If you live in Malaysia, you know our challenges. Whenever we mention the Netherlands’ achievement, the powers-that-be will say, “Oh, you cannot compare, it’s a different culture.” Bhutan? Same answer: Different culture.
What about Turkey where street dogs and cats live harmoniously with the people? Oh, different culture too?
Well, if that’s going to be your answer, of course it will be different, because you refuse to change your mindset or want to stick to the status quo which hasn’t worked for more than 6 decades! And you want to continue doing it? Hello? Didn’t Einstein say that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity?
So for our country, all we can say is this: Let’s practise One-Street CNRM. Yes, on our own small scale which is sustainable and manageable. Be it your whole stretch of road or just your back alley. Save one animal at a time – Care-Neuter-Return-Manage.
Little by little is the water jug filled.
Nurturing Kindness, One Animal at a Time.