Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s Public Urban Health Division, with support from Humane Society International and Jane Goodall Institute, initiate Nepal’s first dog population management program, declaring Singha Durbar the first Dog Managed Zone
As a solution to improve public health, to address animal health and environmental concerns and to humanely manage urban dog population, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), with support of Humane Society International (HSI) and Jane Goodall Institute Nepal (JGI) launched the ‘One Health’ Dog Management Program, in presence of Honorable Shanta Manavi, Livestock Development Minister, Rudra Singh Tamang, CEO, KMC, Dr. Andrew Rowan, President and CEO, HSI and Sarbendra Pacchai, President, JGI at the Singha Durbar in Kathmandu, today.
During this three-year program initiated by KMC, HSI is providing technical and partial financial support, along with JGI, with an aim to sterilize and vaccinate at least 80 percent of street dogs. To complement the sterilization and vaccination activity, a comprehensive educational awareness program will be run on community-level. In the first installment of the program, the Singha Durbar (Nepal’s Parliament) Premise will be declared the first Dog Managed Zone, wherein all the dogs will be sterilized and vaccinated, collared, microchipped and well-groomed.
Shanta Manavi, Minister of Livestock, Nepal, in her speech said, “There are increasing number of cases of people abandoning dogs. The dogs are left without any shelter and also become vulnerable to diseases. Initiatives like these can not only benefit the dogs but the society at large.”
Chief and Executive Officer of KMC Rudra Singh Tamang says, “It is indeed a monumental moment for us to launch this unique project. We hope this project can improve lives of the much-loved street dogs of Kathmandu. The project will also improve health of local people and also appeal to the tourists who visit Kathmandu.”
Dr. Andrew Rowan says, “I am happy that Nepal is the next South-Asian country to launch a street dog population management program after being successfully implemented in Bhutan and many cities in India. Humanely managing street dog population through sterilization and vaccination is known to improve health of dogs and also bring down rabies cases, improving health of the overall community. After successfully working to assist the earthquake disaster relief, HSI is happy to implement this program to further help animals in Nepal.”
According to a press release, in a dog population survey conducted by HSI in March 2016, it was found that there were approximately 22,000 street dogs in Kathmandu. The project will be using humane dog catching methods, following high-quality pre and post-operative norms and managing a detailed database of the dogs that go through sterilization and/or vaccination over a period of three years. The launch of this program marks the beginning of a new era for the revered street dogs of Kathmandu- an era of health and well-being for the entire community.