Mayhew Afghanistan, Mayhew’s branch based in Kabul, is celebrating successfully meeting, and surpassing, one of its key strategic goals in the delivery schedule of its dog population management programme in Kabul, namely having now neutered 25,024 dogs in the capital since July 2019.
Reaching this landmark accomplishment is a result of the strategy developed from the first dog population survey carried out by Mayhew in 2015 to humanely manage the free-roaming dogs in Kabul, improve their welfare and prevent the spread of disease. This strategy involved neutering 40% of the dog population each year – which equates to approximately 10,000 dogs – but as this number is dependent on annual ‘dog-sighting’ population surveys to determine the following years’ numbers, annual goals remain fluid because of how data is collected.
Mayhew’s achievement is an even more impressive feat given that it was achieved during the challenges of the last two years with coronavirus and then the changes in government in Afghanistan, which led to a temporary suspension of the programme.
Animal Birth Control Centre
In July 2019, Mayhew Afghanistan opened the country’s first city-wide Animal Birth Control Centre within Kabul University Vet Faculty’s compound, which allowed the charity to start delivering on the second phase of its strategy of making Kabul a healthier place for both the free-roaming dogs and the local residents.
The establishment of the new centre resulted from Mayhew Afghanistan’s proposed strategy having been accepted by the local and national authorities, and Mayhew signing a landmark agreement with Kabul Municipality to stop the inhumane poisoning of free-roaming dogs in the city with strychnine hidden in meat.
The 14-strong veterinary team at the centre are all local Afghans, ably supported by Kabul Municipality dog catchers and animal care staff who have been retrained and rehabilitated, changing them from dog killers to dog handlers, so positively reframing their relationship with the dogs they encounter.
“We believe that educating communities is the key to spreading the word about the benefits of neutering,” says Caroline Yates, head of international projects and relations at Mayhew. “This milestone success demonstrates how our strategy is assisting local and national governments to proactively deliver programmes in a more humane and effective way. In addition, we hope this important initiative will also help build capacity within the local veterinary profession through access to training, as well as working to empower the wider community’s understanding of the importance of neutering.”
To find out more about Mayhew’s work, visit www.themayhew.org