Jordanian Cull of Stray Dogs
November 18th 2017: Animal Concern Advice Line has called on the Government of Jordan to cancel a huge cull of street dogs. At least 1,000 dogs have been killed by poison or shooting in the last four weeks. You can read the ACAL e–mail below. You can learn more about the slaughter of the dogs in Jordan on the website of an activist in that country. Please note there are some graphic photographs on that website: My Amman Life
Link open to external site, myammanlife.com. Links checked and working as of November 18th 2017
His Excellency Mr Mazen Kemal Homoud,
Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,
6 Upper Phillimore Gardens,
London W8 7HA
Dear Ambassador Homoud,
I write concerning reports of the mass killing of dogs throughout your country.
I understand the animals are being poisoned and also shot and killed in the streets in very large numbers. I believe this is a result of a Fatwa issued in October by Grand Mufti Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaileh after a young girl was bitten by a dog and died of rabies.
The death of a child in such terrible circumstances is indeed a tragedy but a knee-jerk response such as this cull will not remove the danger in the long term. Laying of poison baits and discharging rifles in town and city streets creates much greater safety risks.
Reports say as many as 1,000 dogs have been killed in the last four weeks.
I have been working in the animal welfare field for nearly forty years and from my experience culling stray dogs and feral cats does not work in the long term. With cats it only takes six months to a year for feral populations to recover from a cull and with street dogs numbers will be back at problem levels within about two years.
What will probably happen in the few months following the cull of dogs is a huge rise in populations of rats and mice which will have been suppressed through predation by dogs.
A far better long-term solution is to encourage people to adopt strays wherever possible and to pass laws encouraging more people to have their pet and working dogs neutered to curb breeding rates. You already have organisations involved in the neutering of stray/dogs in your country. I would suggest that your Government consider providing funds to help these organisations neuter more animals and vaccinate them against rabies.
One reason for their being an increase in unwanted dogs throughout the world is fashion. Many people buy dogs of specific breeds or types as a status symbol and there are lots of unscrupulous breeders and dealers making a lot of money from producing designer dogs on puppy farms. These animals often have inbred medical problems and can carry disease and parasites because of the conditions under which they are bred. If you could ban puppy farms in your country and stop the import of dogs for sale then people who genuinely want a pet dog are far more likely to adopt one from the population of strays.
This cull is damaging the global reputation of your country and in the long term it will not solve the problem. I ask you to please use what influence you have to encourage the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to adopt a humane, non–lethal, long–term approach to deal properly with the situation regarding feral and semi–feral dogs and other domestic animals.
John F. Robins,
Animal Concern Advice Line