Mega-dog-pound plan criticized
PHUKET: A plan to house all of Phuket’s estimated 11,500 stray dogs in a huge central pound until they die has been criticized by the leader of a group that is attempting to control the animal population with sterilization. Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi says the proposal, costing 2 million baht, would solve the problem of “soi” dogs and would, within two years, make Phuket the first province in Thailand to be free of strays. But Linda Wells, a founder of the Phuket-based Dogs in Distress in Thailand, believes the plan will prove too expensive and is in any case unworkable. Tourists frequently complain about stray dogs. The animals congregate in packs, are often mangy and underfed, and are sometimes the cause of motorcycle accidents. Under the Phuket plan, four rai at Bang Kanoon forestry plantation in Thalang would be set aside as a pound where captured strays could all be sterilized, then fed and sheltered until they die. Aggressive and sick animals would be segregated from the rest. A request has been made to the national government for the land. The project would be developed by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization, which would later assign management to the local Tambon Administration Organization. Interest in the fate of Thailand’s strays was recently rekindled when a wild Bangkok pack badly savaged a young boy, who required scores of stitches. Humane solutions that avoid putting animals to death have failed to solve the problem so far. Mrs Wells told the Gazette that sterilization and vaccination costs 400 baht per dog and said that in a large enclosure, dogs would fight, injure and kill one another. She also believed that people would continue to dump more dogs on the street, which would take the place of those captured. “You can’t just house hundreds of animals together,” she said, adding that the problem could more sensibly be solved by a long-term program of sterilization in the streets.
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