Ministry Collaborates With Stakeholders To Curb Dog Population

Students from the Charles Sturt University with Ministry of Agriculture, SPCA and Suva City Council Officials. Photo: DEPTFO.

The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Suva City Council, Charles Sturt University, Australia and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is conducting a week long free Dog Spaying and Neutering Clinic at Toa Street in Vatuwaqa.

Ministry of Agriculture, permanent secretary, Jitendra Singh said the clinic is intended to provide free spay and neuter for dogs to control the dog population in Suva.

Within three days, the University has successfully completed 84 dog surgeries and they hope to carry out 20 more dog surgeries on the last day,” PS Singh said.

PS Singh said a few weeks back, the Ministry conducted a free spay and neuter of dogs and cats in collaboration with Vet Essentials Fiji in Waikalou Village, Navua.

“It is intended that the public- private sector initiative can be strengthened in order to conduct more of this de-sexing drive in the rural areas where stray dogs are very much of a concern and people cannot afford these kind of services,” PS Singh said.

“We have started encouraging stakeholders such as the Charles Sturt University to start a program called adapt an island program.”

The PS added that the concept of this program is to identify an island, for instance Naviti Island in Yasawa to continuously conduct the program for three to five years and in return the responsibility of the island chiefs will be to ensure no dogs/cats enter the island.

“In few years’ time once a controlled environment will be established, there will be a successful de-sexing drive done in Fiji and it will serve as a model to encourage other islands in Fiji to do the same,” PS Singh said.

Associate Professor in Production Animal Medicine at the Charles Sturt University, Dr Gavin Ramsay said the clinic is for the 18 animal health students to put into practice their skills.

“This visit will also give the students an opportune time to get to know Fiji and their neighbouring islands and how things are performed around here.”

Dog owner, Geoff Kalounivalu said the spaying of his dog will help decrease dog numbers at his home.

“Our dogs keep multiplying and this will enable us to keep our pets at a minimum number and also lessen the number of stray dogs,” he said.

The four-day clinic ended last Friday.