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A permanent solution for Thailand’s straying dogs


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A permanent solution for Thailand’s straying dogs

Written by ThaiVisa interning journalist: Sara Mellouk

 

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Anyone who has spent time in Thailand will be familiar with the sight of soi dogs roaming the streets. But just how serious is Thailand’s soi dog problem and what can be done to solve it?

 

This week, ThaiVisa spoke with Anders Guldenskold, the founder of Inezorganisation and Green Pattaya, an environmental activist and Rotarian that takes care of up to 800 injured dogs and cats in Sriracha.

 

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Anders says there are more to soi dogs than only the annoying nightly barking and rabies contamination risks.

 

Anders told ThaiVisa how he feels there are actually many positive attributes to soi dogs.

 

Anders believes the much maligned soi dogs are actually misunderstood. He even credited soi dogs with helping to minimise crime, saying their presence on the streets and outside properties actually keep away would-be intruders, making it nearly impossible for anyone to sneak around without being recognized.

 

To some, labelling soi dogs as the restless protectors of Thailand's streets may be a step too far and with stories featuring regularly in the news of people being attacked by soi dogs, such as the 6 year old Finnish boy who was hospitalised after being brutally mauled by a pack of soi dogs while playing on a beach in Krabi last month. There is an argument to say it is people who need protecting from the soi dogs.

 

Anders also added that another positive of soi dogs is that they help to keep rats away. Rats are renownedly far more dangerous for people in terms of carrying and spreading diseases.

 

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According to Anders, the fear from rabies is more or less exaggerated when compared to other riskier things that people spend lesser time thinking about, such as cars accidents and motorbike accidents.

 

If you compare the statistics, there is only around one case of rabies bites every 4 months and people that actually die from rabies are much less than that, whilst on average around 60 people per day are killed on Thailand’s roads.

 

So what is the answer to tackling the soi dog problem?

 

While building more dog shelters in Thailand is often cited as one possible solution to help keeping dogs off the streets, the building of more shelters only makes the soi dog situation worse, says Anders.

 

Instead of building shelters, Anders says sterilization should be the focus in order to help reduce the numbers of soi dogs Thailand.

 

Every charity should spend more money on sterilization instead of feeding the problem by gathering all the dogs in shelters and giving them room to multiply.

 

In addition to that, putting dogs into shelters means that the organization has to feed them, because they are no longer able to look for their own food on the streets. This makes it an unjustified cost that also could be saved and used to sterilize soi dogs.

 

Anders is equally against the veterinary euthanasia solution, saying he would never kill a dog whether he is in a Buddhist country or elsewhere, only if the dog is suffering from a serious disease and is no longer able to enjoy life, for example as a consequence of cancer.

 

He added that Bali is the proof that culling is not the solution. The authorities tried to solve the street dog problem by killing all the dogs on the island but they still keep coming back since it is impossible to kill them off. The culling prozess is not only ethically debatable but also very costly.

 

It seems like the only smart way to get rid of the soi dog problem on the long run is sterilization. In combination with regular rabies vaccines for the temporary limitation of the risks, Thailand should be well-protected from this serious issue that has been making its streets unsafe for way too long now.  

 

This article was written by Sara Mellouk,

Sara is an intern at ThaiVisa The Nation in Thailand, coming from Morocco, currently doing her Bachelor’s Degree in Germany in Economics and Media science.

 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-03-12
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6 minutes ago, from the home of CC said:

Anybody that would compare traffic accidents with rabies rates shows me he's lost it, just another nut job who personifies dogs -  part of the problem rather than part the solution.

He is not comparing soi dogs with traffic accidents.. he is comparing risk.. the risk of being injured or killed in a traffic accident is far greater than being  killed by rabies.. or a shark for that matter.. or many other things that kill people...   I believe he is right that they provide protection from prowlers at night.  Where I live most of the local dogs are owned and cared for.. if a stranger.. dog or person comes into the area at night the dogs all start barking and don't stop until they move on.. Yes, it can be annoying but it is good protection..  He does make good points.. Sterilization and immunization  is the best solution..  removing animals just creates a space for others to move in.. 

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nice article

 

shame about the 'washington square' types on here who keep forgetting that humans on this land= 400,000+ with hiv, 27,000 road kills and millions of wildlife abused or killed without being used for unhealthy meat eaters. A few reactions by homeless animals is no need to keep requesting their deaths. Thailand has 1% of the worlds population but pollutes 16% of the ocean waste discharge. This low iq attitude throughout asia under crime gang dictatorships will end up killing every species on this planet. No need to keep blaming homeless animals who just want to live like all of us. We need to share this planet and stop asia destroying the oceans and forests before its too late

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27 minutes ago, Laza 45 said:

removing animals just creates a space for others to move in..

Move in from where? The idea is to 'take out' all of them.

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Anders also added that another positive of soi dogs is that they help to keep rats away. Rats are renownedly far more dangerous for people in terms of carrying and spreading diseases.

So would emptying the rubbish/waste bins regulary.

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Anders is equally against the veterinary euthanasia solution, saying he would never kill a dog whether he is in a Buddhist country or elsewhere, only if the dog is suffering from a serious disease and is no longer able to enjoy life, for example as a consequence of cancer.

What about when these killer dogs try to kill kids?

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The solution is to euthanize them all, and create govt subsidized programs to spay and neuter pets at cost determined by income. Everything else sadly is simply childish adults doing what childish adults do, which is talking like children. A disaster is looming.

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I'm afraid Mr Anders has lost the plot, does he not realise that road accidents also occur because of these pests roaming the streets especially early in the mornings when many people like to be out exercising, be it walking, running, cycling etc. and are continuously harassed by packs of dogs which are also not adversed to chasing cyclists, motorcycles & causing motor vehicles to swerve in order to miss them. In the UK one is taught to brake but not swerve if an animal (Animal being the key word) runs out in front of a vehicle in order to reduce the risk of causing an accident with another vehicle or to a pedestrian which to me makes much more sense. 

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Just now, Borzandy said:
2 hours ago, webfact said:

Anders also added that another positive of soi dogs is that they help to keep rats away.

I always thought that was a cats job..

We don't want any petty demarcation disputes about jobs!

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They should offer a reward for dogs brought in dead or alive.

Give Somchai and his mates flip flop and bum fluff,  70 baht a dog

Dog problem would be gone in a few months in Thailand.

 

Children can play in the Soi's , Parks,  Fields, Beaches,  and out side of home again.

with no fear of them being malled to bits by these animals.

Win Win,

 

PS. Also get rid of all Falang feeders and do gooders, via the airport.

Wouldn't that be nice.  :thumbsup:

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

people that actually die from rabies are much less than that, whilst on average around 60 people per day are killed on Thailand’s roads.

There you go then , let the dogs do the driving and job done .. 

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1 minute ago, stanleycoin said:

They should offer a reward for dogs brought in dead or alive.

Give Somchai and his mates flip flop and bum fluff,  70 baht a dog

Dog problem would be gone in a few months in Thailand.

 

Children can play in the Soi's , Parks,  Fields, Beaches,  and out side of home again.

with no fear of them being malled to bits by these animals.

Win Win,

 

PIck up your history books and find how that worked out with rats.
Bring in a rat's tail and get a reward.
Not too long and people opened rat-farms to get tails to earn money.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

He added that Bali is the proof that culling is not the solution. The authorities tried to solve the street dog problem by killing all the dogs on the island but they still keep coming back since it is impossible to kill them off.

And as counter-proof he could look at almost any highly developed country in Europe. 

In my home country (The Netherlands) there are about zero soi dogs.

 

So just because the government failed on Bali does not mean the method failed, it means the government failed.

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I was expecting something incredibly clever but this is something that has been thought of by many people for a long long time already. Some dogs are already being sterilized actually. 

 

The problem is quite simple, you don't want to see the dogs starve so you feed them, but if you do so, they'll have puppies which also need to be taken care of.. and the cycle continues. You can't tell a dog that he's gonna get food only if he stops breeding, so you sterilize them. This ain't rocket science. No, don't put them down, sterilize them all and let's just take care of them until their lifespan ends. We got 7 dogs in my street and they are all very sweet. As for the aggressive ones, they need to be put down. I've had some encounters, but usually that's from dogs trying to protect their puppies. 

 

Sterilize them and give them a special tag so it's easy to acknowledge which have been sterilized and which not. You probably won't be able to sterilize them all and obviously miss a few, but you'll drastically change the total dog population by the end of every dogs lifespan.. so say 10 years. People will also put new dogs on the street, so it'll be a forever ongoing problem.. but I like dogs and I think a lot of us do, except for the aggressive kind and we just hate to see them starve and breed further.

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2 minutes ago, Bob12345 said:

PIck up your history books and find how that worked out with rats.
Bring in a rat's tail and get a reward.
Not too long and people opened rat-farms to get tails to earn money.

it's the land of scams, so who cares, as long as the dogs are gone.

who cares if it costs a bit more. big deal

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If you look at other countries and how they solve problems, why not just copy them.

Solutions are simple if you have the people to enact them. 

Rubbish problem.

Dogs problem.

Take away the word problem and there is your solution.

 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Justgrazing said:
3 hours ago, webfact said:

people that actually die from rabies are much less than that, whilst on average around 60 people per day are killed on Thailand’s roads.

There you go then , let the dogs do the driving and job done ..

Yeah, you know as well as I do, they'll 'dolittle' about it.

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19 minutes ago, stud858 said:

If you look at other countries and how they solve problems, why not just copy them.

Solutions are simple if you have the people to enact them. 

Rubbish problem.

Dogs problem.

Take away the word problem and there is your solution.

 Your right.

Dogs, R,  Rubbish,  in Thailand :cheesy:

 

 

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The real problem is no garbage collection, lazy people leaving food everywhere and so on. If there's no food, the rats, pigeons, dogs and other pests disappear. Not many soi dogs in Sahara.

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Bit off-topic this. And there were a couple of small English errors. Overall, though please, please don't let Sara Mellouk back to Morocco or Germany. This was so, so much better, including the English, than most reporting we get to see on Thai Visa.

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He added that Bali is the proof that culling is not the solution. The authorities tried to solve the street dog problem by killing all the dogs on the island but they still keep coming back since it is impossible to kill them off. The culling prozess is not only ethically debatable but also very costly.

 

It seems like the only smart way to get rid of the soi dog problem on the long run is sterilization.

 

If killing them doesn't work as their are too many of them then how the hell will sterilizing them?

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