Thousands of dogs will be killed in Neuquén, after an outbreak of two cases of human leptospirosis. It is not the first time the City decides to exterminate dogs. The council recently approved a proposal for the urgent implementation of an existing ordinance of dog control "in order to decrease the population of these animals". For a duration of four months, strays will be killed to prevent a potential spread of the disease. This includes the killing of healthy dogs and runaways.
Please urge the government to immediately halt these plans !
- Neuquén Government
- Governor Jorge Augusto Sapag
- Lieutenant Governor Ana Maria Pechen
- Minister of Health Ruben Daniel Vincent
I am contacting you regarding the plans to eradicate strays in Neuquén, as a measure to control the potential spread of leptospirosis. The proposal to kill stray dogs is not a solution to the problem. I do not support a mass killing of strays and ask that you, for example, launch a project for the serosurveillance of stray dogs, and consequent treatment or vaccination of animals at risk. In dogs, penicillin is most commonly used to end the leptospiremic phase, and doxycycline is used to eliminate the carrier state. These have proven to be effective methods.
I ask that you instead focus on dealing with the environmental risk factors, including water decontamination or the drying of ponds, and standard sanitation methods. Take preventive methods and protective measures, most importantly by raising awareness of how to prevent transmission by avoiding exposure and using protective clothing. Unless the general hygienic degradation in the city is not dealt with, the mindless killing of dogs will not prevent a potential spread of the disease.
I urge for an immediate suspension of this Dog Control operation, on the grounds that it is unethical and unnecessary.
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