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Feral dogs in third world countries

“Travels with a Biro”

There has been quite a lot of talk in Belize recently about destroying feral dogs. Some people throw up their hands in horror – it’s cruel ! But it is not.

These feral dogs wander around in packs in most third-world countries, and even countries like Belize which is just dragging itself up out of the third world, accept these bands of dogs. There are many places in the world where it is dangerous to walk, especially at night, because the dogs are so vicious, and they will actually eat small children, cats and – in some cases – other small dogs. They will certainly attack and kill other dogs. They not only carry but spread disease. Their shit is extremely infested and can cause blindness in very young children, along with a whole range of other nasties.

Now, listen, I like dogs. We had a dog of our own till recently. When I lived in Spain I rescued and kept five dogs. But destroying the feral ones is the only way to solve a huge problem. The rest need to be neutered.

When I lived in the south of Spain in the 1970s dogs were a big problem. Exactly as it was in Hopkins (Belize) till fairly recently, bands of dogs would roam the area, barking on and off all night, defecating left right and centre, attracting flies and creating a disgusting smell. It put off tourists, tourists were needed, and the situation came to a head when an old boy in a nearby farm got bitten by a rabid dog and died a horrible death.

The Spanish police swung in to action and shot all stray dogs. People who owned dogs were warned to keep them at home (which they should do anyway). In a matter of weeks the problem was solved. Now, in the south of Spain, people own or do not own dogs in a normal, responsible manner, as they do in any industrialized country (RSPCA matters notwithstanding).

If you ever visited Istanbul in the 80s or 90s, you will recall a similar problem with cats – cats everywhere. I also remember cats all over the Colosseum in Rome. It was horrible. And these creatures themselves are miserable – starving to death, thick with lice and fleas, wounds and sores left unattended, and producing litter after litter, year after year. The only sensible thing to do is to destroy them as quickly as possible and allow nature to create a normal balance in the feline and canine world, with responsible owners who are educated enough to at least keep their dogs at home.

Click here for my blog and sketch(es) on Belize

Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites.  Her sketches are on her web site http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk .  Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.

 

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  Her books are available as e-books on this site:-

https://payhip.com/b/tEva            “A Call from France”

https://payhip.com/b/OTiQ          “French Sand”

https://payhip.com/b/BLkF         ”The Man with Green Fingers”

https://payhip.com/b/1Ghq        “Saying Nothing”

They are also available on Amazon & Kindle, or can be ordered as paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.

 

Posted by Catherine Broughton on 18 July 2012
Catherine is a novelist, a poet and an artist. Her books are available from this site as e-books or can be ordered from any leading book store or library.
  • XYZ

    Would you recommend applying the same technique to human population problem? There are 6 billion of us fighting for the world’s resources. Some of us are starving, lice infested, defecate openly and kill other humans.

    • http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk Catherine

      Well, some people have tried, haven’t they ? The difference is that humans can be educated, they have this amazing thing called CHOICE, whereas dogs do not. Sure, in many many places in the world there are zillions who have no choice, but they are victims of the choices of their governments and leaders, often of the church. The answer for humans is EDUCATION. Meanwhile, just because humans kill each other and defacate in the street, it does not follow that therefore stray and starving dogs should wander around. Furthermore, if you re-read my item, you will see that I advocate – first and foremost – educating people in to getting their pets neutered.

    • http://twitter.com/catherine_books Catherine Broughton

      Well, some people have tried, haven’t they ? The difference is that humans can be educated, they have this amazing thing called CHOICE, whereas dogs do not. Sure, in many many places in the world there are zillions who have no choice, but they are victims of the choices of their governments and leaders, often of the church. The answer for humans is EDUCATION. Meanwhile, just because humans kill each other and defecate in the street, it does not follow that therefore stray and starving dogs should wander around. Furthermore, if you re-read my item, you will see that I advocate – first and foremost – educating people in to getting their pets neutered.

      • http://twitter.com/catherine_books Catherine Broughton

        Hello again XYZ ! I think we probably sort-of agree with eachother:-

        1) yes, it would be wonderful in some ways if humans neuteured themselves ! But by going down that line we risk sliding in to Hitler’s way of thinking, so it has to be left at that

        2) humans CAN be educated. Approx 100 years ago only 12% of the ENTIRE population could read and write, now it is almost 60%. But we are talking more about moral eduation here. There will always be the real nasties and I doubt we will ever do anything about it

        3) the most dangerous creature on earth is the human, that is undeniable

        But the above does not mean that therefore we should leave animals to suffer. The ideal is one thing, but in the meantime we must do whatever we can to alleviate the suffering of creatures that do not need to suffer. I do not advocate destroying them because I can; I advocate it because – till the problem,( both animal and human) is resolved, it is a good and sensible way of putting an end to intolerable suffering.

        Thanks for responding to my first answer – it is nice to get in to a bit of a debate !

  • xyz

    Thanks. However, I am still struggling with the thought process that led to your conclusion.

    Even with so called higher intelligence, choices etc, human race is the most destructive for this planet. Animals pose far less threat to this world than humans do. And educating all, is that even practical?

    If you really think about it, every major issue is due to human overpopulation and behavior. If there are fewer humans, there will be fewer dogs/cats. I am just a little tired of humans deciding to shoot/cull other animals just because they have the power to do so. Educating humans hasn’t really worked so far….population continues to explode.

    I do appreciate your recommendation for neutering. I just wish humans applied such stringent measures to themselves first before they apply it to another voiceless species.

    This quote from Gandhi left an impression on me, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man”.

    • dylan

      You like Ghandi? Here’s a quote for you

      “A roving dog without an owner is a danger to society and a swarm of
      them is a menace to its very existence… If we want to keep dogs in
      towns or villages in a decent manner no dog should be suffered to
      wander. There should be no stray dogs even as we have no stray cattle…
      But can we take individual charge of these roving dogs? Can we have a
      pinjrapole for them? If both these things are impossible then there
      seems to me no alternative except to kill them… it is an insult to the
      starving dog to throw a crumb at him. Roving dogs do not indicate
      compassion and civilization in society; they betray instead the
      ignorance and lethargy of its members… that means we should keep them
      and treat them with respect as we do our companions and not allow them
      to roam about.”

      As a person who has lived in practically a third world country (the bush of Alaska) and attacked on many occasions by stray dogs (btw I’ve been bitten twice and foughten off dogs circling me by puching kicking at them), I have no sympathy for them they are not your cute little lap dog, they are blood thirsty predators, and they need to be cleaned off the street, the dogs kill PEOPLE and give them rabies, and attack the livestock and other pet dogs people own. Whenever I hear of people clearing feral dogs off the street I get a warm and fuzzy feeling.

      • Catherine Broughton

        Thanks for this. Well, Ghandi was right !

      • http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk Catherine

        Well, as I said in my item, feral dogs should be put down. I agree that they are a danger in many cases. Even from the pont of view of a dog-lover, it is wrong to allow starving creatures of any kind. And responsible people should get their pets neutered unless they are for breeding.

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