For over a decade, the Government of Mauritius has been urged by animal welfare organisations and members of the public at home and abroad to halt the indiscriminate and cruel dog catching and killing methods carried out on its behalf of stray and owned animals by the Mauritian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and to adopt instead, humane mass spay/neuter programmes.
Offers have been made to financially assist the Government in establishing such mass low cost spay/neuter programmes but in return, only platitudes and false promises have been received, while the cruel catch and kill policy continues. A recent article in one of the UK’s national newspapers, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2127922/The-dogs-death-row-paradise-One-English-womans-battle-holiday-island-cruelly-kills-thousands-pet-dogs-year.html confirms this method continues and has led to the promotion of a ‘tourist boycott” of Mauritius by a number of animal welfare organisations. Catching and killing, wherever it has been done does not work. There is now conclusive scientific data which shows that a sustained, long-term sterilisation programme does reduce population size.
The Government of Mauritius’s actions and those of the MSPCA in relation to the treatment of dogs rightly brings international condemnation. Their actions bring shame on the Republic of Mauritius and places at risk the island as a so-called ‘paradise destination’.
An end to the cruel and indiscriminate dog catching and killing methods must be immediately put in place and the Government work with local and international animal welfare organisations to establish a humane control programme, consisting of - subsidised mass sterilisation of dogs and cats; a sustainably managed trap/neuter/release initiative; and a national animal welfare education programme.