PHUKET: Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura has appointed a committee to try to solve the problem of stray dogs in Phuket.
One main responsibility of the new Stray Dog Committee will be to promote coordination between the various government bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who, Gov Udomsak believes, are not cooperating efficiently.
Dr Prasit Koeysiripong, the newly appointed Chairman of one of the NGOs, the Soi Dog Foundation (SDF), along with Sunart Wongvorachart, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO), met with the Governor yesterday morning to discuss how they might encourage all the organizations to work together to solve the stray dog problem.
The Governor, who will chair the committee, appointed Dr Prasit and K. Sunart as his deputies and called for other organizations such as the Phuket Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) to join in.
Dr Prasit told the Gazette that, for a long time now, Phuket has had many organizations looking after stray dogs, both private foundations such as SDF and PAWS, and public bodies such as PPLO and the OrBorJor. Each, he explained, has a different view of how to carry out their work and this has led to disagreement, with groups unable to cooperate.
“It is not a good situation if the leaders of each organization are not cooperating with one another. They have also faced communication difficulties because of language problems. Now we hope that each organization will work to understand the others,” Dr. Prasit said.
“Every year, six to seven million baht is spent on feeding, treating and sterilizing dogs and cats. It is not good to rely forever on donations from the private sector such as hotels or oversea funds. We hope to get state funding in the future,” Dr Prasit explained.
“I would like to establish an animal hospital because we have many vets in Phuket who could treat all kinds of animals, not just cats and dogs. We could exchange and update knowledge among vets and install a specialist lab. The hospital could care for animals day and night.
“[SDF] will continue with its policy of sterilizing stray dogs because we feel it is the best way to reduce their numbers. We have to sterilize more than 10,000 dogs a year if we are to be successful,” he added.
Dr Prasit said that he hoped to see controls on irresponsible dog owners as well. “I think an important measure in solving the stray-dog problem is making owners responsible for their pets.
“Dog owners should set up an area of their house or garden for their dogs, as people do in other countries. In other countries owners are even expected to clean up afterward if their dog defecates in a public place,” he explained.
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