Harare targets stray dogs
23 December 2016
The City of Harare is putting amendments to its Dog and Licensing Control Bylaws which will include clauses that make it mandatory for people to apply to keep dogs.
This will be one of several amendments which will be made to the bylaws.
This comes at a time the city is ‘unleashing’ its officers to some suburbs to capture stray dogs which are becoming a danger to the public.
The move which recently saw officers going to Hatfield; is in line with council’s strict dog licensing bylaws.
It had been noted that there had been an increase in the number of dogs roaming the streets and biting innocent residents.
“We are warning all dog owners, breeders and handlers to keep their dogs within the precincts of their perimeter walls.
“Any dog that will be found roaming the streets will be captured and put to rest if not claimed within 48 hours of capture,” said Michael Chideme, city’s acting spokesperson.
He added that there has been an upsurge in the number of dog bites in Harare and this has raised fears of victims being infected by rabies.
“Failure to comply with sections of the bylaws will attract a jail term not exceeding six months. The Harare Dog Licensing and Control Bylaw of 2015 prohibit people to keep more than two dogs,” added Chideme.
And in an interview with H-Metro, City of Harare Health Director Dr Prosper Chonzi said the increasing number of dog bites is worrying, hence they might end up resorting to shooting stray ones.
“Because of the challenges we continue to face of the rising cases, we will come to a stage where we will have to put down all stray dogs. “We urge property owners with dogs to fence their properties as a measure of containing their animals,” said Dr Chonzi.
He also said that it is feared that some of the stray dogs could be carrying the dangerous rabies virus which if not treated, is fatal to humans.
Dr Chonzi added that the prowling of some settlements in Harare in places where it was once deemed as the wild; will see some dogs ending up mixing with wild animals like jackals which can have the rabies virus.
“Remember we have areas like Whitecliff which were once classified as the wild so if you have dogs in fights with animals like jackals, there is the risk in those dogs being infected with the rabies virus.
“And then the dogs will come back to the people’s homes so if those dogs are not vaccinated, they are a danger.
“So it becomes worse if those dogs are just stray dogs, hence we may resort to putting them down,” revealed Dr Chonzi.
Its costs US$5 for one to get their dog vaccinated against rabies.