ABC is better than culling
The World Health Organization (WHO) has long recognized that mass destruction of street dogs is an ineffective method of controlling dog populations. Culling is ineffective in the long term as the remaining individuals who escaped the culling will eventually repopulate the area. Culling is also a debated method of animal control that is not always inhumane. Mass capture of street dogs for culling when undertaken in tourist areas cause visitors undue distress and project a poor image of the Philippines.
Euthanasia in the Philippines (according to Administrative Order No. 21 of the Department of Agriculture on the Code of Conduct in the Euthanasia for Pets/Companion Animals) can range from intravenous injection to death by firearms. Many of these methods can cause extreme suffering to the animal before its death. This is a direct contradiction to the Philippine Republic Act No. 8485 or Animal Welfare Act of 1998 whereby it is unlawful to torture or maltreat any animal.
An Animal Birth Control (ABC) or Kapon project can help to control street dog populations, as well as human/animal rabies when conducted efficiently. ABC programmes aim to catch street dogs, surgically sterilize, and vaccinate the dogs against rabies, then release them back to the exact location from where they came. The sterilization of mainly female dogs, should be sufficient to control the population. An established resident dog population will prevent any new animals from moving into the territory. If the population is sterile, they will eventually decrease in number.
As an added benefit to our lovely dogs, spayed or neutered animals live longer, healthier lives; are less likely to develop some forms of reproductive cancers; are less likely to get into fights; and are less likely to roam along the busy roads that lead to our beach. All of God’s creatures have the right to live. By putting an end to the cycle of reproduction, ABC effectively ends the cycle of suffering without having to take a life.
A mass vaccination and ABC programme already exists, organized by the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian. It only takes a little extra coordination to ensure that dogs in our project areas are fully included and registered. In light of humane animal treatment and a more sustainable use of funds in the long term, preventative measures should take precedence over short-term measures that seek to solve the symptom but not the root of the problem.