Bahamas Government – Save Operation Potcake: Allow foreign vets entry to donate their time and skills to help reduce the stray animal population
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Stray dogs in The Bahamas are known as potcakes, named so after the crusty remains often found at the bottom of pots of peas and rice. People often fed these leftovers to the strays that hung around their property, earning them the name ‘potcakes.’
Sadly, the stray dog, mostly potcakes, and cat population in The Bahamas has been growing for years and with it thousands of animals have starved, suffered and been subject to horrible abuse. The estimated number of stray dogs in Nassau, New Providence is currently around 20,000.
What is Operation Potcake?
Operation Potcake is part of a five-year initiative to provide Low Cost Spay and Neuter for stray animals and sector of the population who have owners in low income areas. With all animal welfare groups working in collaboration this is a true milestone in The Bahamas, working together efficiently to take control of the over population of dogs.
The first Operation Potcake in New Providence, Bahamas in January 2013 successfully spayed and neutered 2315 dogs. International volunteers from seven countries donated their services, paid all their own expenses and worked alongside locals in this hugely successful endeavor. The Bahamas Prime Minister publically endorsed the program and invited the Operation Potcake international volunteers back.
The upcoming Operation Potcake was scheduled for Feburary 2-6 2014 and had a target of 1000 surgeries over 5 days in New Providence. Logistics were in place after months of planning and fundraising. International volunteers with training in high-volume spay and neuter programs were on board.
Cancellation of the 2014 Operation Potcake
Despite all of this effort and good will, Operation Potcake 2014 has been cancelled following a recent decision by the Veterinary Medical Association of The Bahamas (VMAB) stating that they don’t need foreign assistance in combating their over population problem.
A copy of the letter released this week by the VMAB can be downloaded at the bottom of the following link It highlights their decision to deny entry of foreign volunteers to assist with the program.
Without the help of these highly skilled volunteers and veterinarians specialized in high volume spay/neuter programs, along with the other proposed terms and conditions by the VMAB - the Operation Potcake organizers had no choice but to cancel the five day 2014 program.
Recent press coverage has shown strong local support for Operation Potcake in The Bahamas from both the editorial and public domains:
- The Tribune - November 28, 2013 - Operation Potcake Cancelled After Local Vet Opposition
- The Tribune - November 29, 2013 - Public Anger At Vets After Operation Potcake Cancelled
- The Tribune - December 2, 2013 - It's About Animals, Not Vets
- The Tribune - December 3, 2013 - Overwhelming Support For Operation Potcake
Moving forward, the purpose of this petition is simply to ask the Government of The Bahamas to allow the foreign veterinarians to enter the country and donate their services as part of Operation Potcake 2014.
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