Joint statement advocates humane dog population management
Posted Oct. 31, 2016
The AVMA and World Animal Protection, formerly the World Society for the Protection of Animals, plan to publish a joint statement in favor of controlling stray and free-roaming dogs through humane methods.
The statement states, in part, that culling dogs is ineffective in addressing the causes of a roaming dog problem, and culling methods can be cruel and brutal. Communities should, instead, consider working with skilled people to develop and implement humane animal control programs that include data collection and impact measurement, identifying governmental and nongovernmental agencies willing to support a humane animal control program, and educating the community on elements of responsible dog ownership, according to the statement.
“The AVMA and World Animal Protection recommend that governments and responsible authorities implement humane strategies to manage dog populations, including addressing unplanned and uncontrolled breeding and promoting responsible ownership in ways that are locally and culturally relevant and welfare friendly,” it states.
The statement notes that guidance from the International Companion Animal Management Coalition recommends that a dog population management program include aspects such as education, legislation, registration, identification, sterilization, use of holding facilities, euthanasia, and vaccination.
The joint statement recommends that communities implementing sustainable animal control programs shift from administering euthanasia in response to overpopulation or insufficient care to administering it for individual health reasons. And it describes considerations that can help reduce pain in death and improve quality of life.