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‘More humane methods in place to address increasing populations of stray animals’

By Batool Ghaith - Jan 19,2021 - Last updated at Jan 20,2021

A grab from a video that went viral on social media in April, 2018 shows a motorist tying a dog and dragging him with his car on the Amman-Irbid highway (Jt file photo)

AMMAN — Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has said that it has developed its animal welfare measures, using new methods to stop the breeding cycle of stray animals and reduce their increasing populations.   

GAM said that laws impose prison terms and fines on those hurting animals while experts and activists said that more need to be done toward ensuring animal welfare.  

 “The responsibility of GAM is to follow up on stray animals because they can transmit diseases to humans. Our role is to reduce their increasing numbers in humane and more effective ways," GAM spokesperson Nasser Rahamneh said.

He said that GAM has set up a new programme to stop the breeding of stray dogs through the ABC, animal birth control or TNR (trap-neuter-return). 

Rahamneh explained that an awareness-raising media campaign needs to be implemented to educate the public on the effectiveness of the ABC programme and the way it works.

 
“The ABC programme started recently by the GAM in Jordan, I was one of the vets who went to Wadi Rum and Petra to perform the operations on stray dogs. The dogs also receive the necessary vaccinations (like rabies) and they are tagged so they will not be trapped again. This is also done in in the animal welfare centre in the Muwaqqar district,”Dunia Refai, a veterinarian in Amman told The Jordan Times.

Refai pointed out that some people fear dogs because they are convinced that dogs are harmful and they will bite, but the truth is those dogs are actually afraid of humans, because some children hurt these dogs or even cats in the street, and in return dogs develop a defense mechanism.

“In fact, dogs would actually only bite if they are hurt or being attacked, the reason why we need to educate people more about how to deal with animals and how to nurture their children to be better with animals,” she added.

Refai also called for better proper punishment for those who hurt animals to stop them from these abusive acts.

An animal rescuer in Amman echoed similar remarks.

“Killing is not the way to deal with stray dogs. The TNR method is the best solution to control the stray animals’ population in Jordan, this programme would be effective if it is done more widely and on more stray animals in residential areas rather than only in remote areas, so people would stop hurting and reporting these dogs,” she told The Jordan Times.

“One of the main reasons behind having lots of stray animals in Jordan is because of the reason why people get pets in the first place. Many parents get a pet for their child for the wrong reasons, just because they are bored, and after a while they abandon this pet in the streets. Our society needs educational programmes and more awareness about animals in general, so they would be able to handle the responsibility of a pet,” the animal rescuer added.

According to article 472 of the Penal Code, anyone who severely hurts a pet or domestic animal or tortures it is punished with imprisonment for up to one week and a fine of up to JD5. 

 

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