Stray dogs: start of a sterilization operation in six major cities

This Thursday, August 25 in Oujda, a vaccination operation against rabies and sterilization of stray dogs was launched. This is a national operation carried out by the National Council of the Order of Veterinarians (OVM) jointly with the Commune, the City Council of Oujda and ONSSA.

Sterilization to end reproduction

The operation carried out in Oujda will be the first stage of a vast operation of vaccination and sterilization planned in the medium term throughout the national territory and short-term in five cities: Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir and Tangier.

This is the application of the framework agreement signed in February 2019 between “the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health, the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA) and the National Council of “Order of Veterinarians of Morocco (OVM)” indicates to Médias24, Dr. Badre Tnacheri Ouazzani, president of the OVM.

A convention whose application has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and budgetary constraints, explains our source.

The operation is based on sterilization because it “puts an end to reproduction” insists the president of the OVM in a declaration to Médias24.

“2,000 private veterinarians and ONSSA agents will participate in this campaign which will also cover several rural areas” specifies a press release from the National Council of the Order of Veterinarians published this Thursday, August 25.

“For lack of refuge, the operation will be carried out in the private offices of veterinarians” explains Mr. Tnacheri Ouazzani. “The municipality will take care of the capture of the dogs before bringing them to the cabinets. Admittedly, it is restrictive for veterinarians but it is a necessary action”, he explains to us.

The construction of shelters has also been delayed.

Upstream of vaccination and sterilization operations, the agreement provides for the construction of shelters “according to standards that respect animal welfare. These structures must also be able to accommodate veterinary surgery.” describes our interlocutor.

And to continue: “the construction and management of shelters are entrusted to local authorities. The National Order organizes veterinary services there and trains agents for the capture of dogs”.

For the time being, only one refuge has emerged from the ground, in Rabat. Their importance lies in the surgical act of sterilization, vaccination against rabies, but also the convalescence of animals. “We can only release the dogs after 4 or 5 days, because they will be very vulnerable,” explains Dr. Badre Tnacheri Ouazzani.

“We will also have to be careful to release them where they were captured, that is to say their territory, so that they do not lose their bearings. The treated dogs will be recognizable thanks to a numbered earring, in order to reassure the population about their health,” he specifies.

The municipalities responsible for the fight against stray dogs

The reactivation of this framework agreement echoes the recent tragedy that occurred a few days ago in Dakhla with the death of a French tourist from injuries caused by an attack by a pack of stray dogs. This dramatic news item reminds us that the rabies contracted following the bite of a dog has killed an average of 23 people per year over the past ten years, according to figures provided by the OVM.

A few days ago, the Minister of the Interior sent a circular to the walis and governors to call on them to support the efforts and assist the actions of the communes to manage this thorny issue.

Because in Dakhla as in other regions of Morocco, the proliferation of packs of stray dogs is alarming. And the fight against this phenomenon is the responsibility of the municipal councils.

Article 50 of the communal charter provides that “the president of the communal council exercises the powers of administrative police, by way of regulatory decrees and individual measures, carrying authorization, injunction or prohibition, in the fields of hygiene, public health and tranquility and the safety of passages”.

Among the long list of attributions we can read: “he takes the necessary measures to prevent the straying of harmful and harmful animals, controls domestic animals and conducts operations to collect and control stray dogs and fight against rabies and any other disease threatening domestic animals, in accordance with the laws and regulations in force”.

It is therefore the responsibility of each municipality to manage this file by relying on the partners concerned, in particular ONSSA, the Ministry of the Interior, etc.

Another law that concerns dogs is law 56-12 relating to the prevention and protection of people against the dangers of dogs.

It bans the sale of six breeds of dogs dangerous : Staffordshire bull terrier, Pitbull, Mastiff, Boerbull, Tosa and the American Staffordshire bull terrier.

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