On 22 January, The Mayhew Animal Home - which is also a registered NGO in Afghanistan - has signed a landmark agreement with Kabul City authorities to halt dog culling in the city and introduce "an animal welfare strategy incorporating a sustainable and planned rabies vaccination programme combined with a humane dog population control programme".
The agreement was signed by Mayhew’s Afghanistan Project Manager, Dr. Abdul Jalil Mohammadzai DVM, and dignitaries from the Kabul Municipality - including Mayor Abdullah Habibzai, Deputy Ministry of Transport Fawzia Ahsani and Head of Sanitation Abdul Tawab Ahmadi.
Years of devastating war have left the country facing enormous challenge, and the huge number of stray and feral dogs is one of them - leaving the dogs vulnerable to inhumane culling, and humans vulnerable to the spread of disease. The Mayhew, which has been active in Afghanistan since 2001, has been working for years to achieve this result.
Caroline Yates, CEO of The Mayhew Animal Home, says, “We are delighted that the Kabul Municipality is moving towards a sustainable rabies control programme that will eliminate rabies and save both people’s and dogs lives as well as offer a humane solution to controlling the dog population. The Mayhew does not support inhumane methods of controlling the spread of the rabies virus and dog populations and believes that the mass culling of animals, simply to remove them from the streets, is cruel, ineffective and not sustainable.
“Our NGO presence in Afghanistan gives us a solid foundation from which to launch, manage and expand our proposed programmes. Our vision for the humane treatment and improvement in welfare for Afghanistan’s free-roaming dogs combined with an effective rabies prevention programme that will save lives can be achieved by working closely with Afghanistan’s Government, local authorities and organisations. This is a major step towards making our vision a reality.
“We also believe that educating communities is the key to spreading the word about rabies prevention, safe interaction with community dogs, compassion towards animals and the benefits of neutering."
Images by The Mayhew Animal Home.