Can an AIT system be used as a tool to control stray dogs?
Any reference stated in the following paragraphs is based on the OIE, Terrestrial Animal Health Code (2013) Volume I Chapter 7.7 – Stray Dog Population Control (link as of 08/10/2013).
Stray and feral dogs are a problem in many countries and zoonoses, especially rabies, pose a serious risk to human health. It is therefore essential to control the population of stray dogs in order to reduce the incidence of rabies.
But what is the source of stray dogs? The Terrestrial Animal Health Code states that the main source of stray dogs is irresponsible dog ownership:
- Owned dogs that roam freely
- Dogs that have been abandoned by their owner, including puppies resulting from uncontrolled breeding of owned dogs
- Unowned dogs that reproduce successfully.
Especially if animals are registered in a centralised database the information can be used to enforce legislation (for example mandatory vaccination programmes) or to simply reunite lost animals with their owners.
With an AIT system it is not only possible to register livestock but also dogs, cats and other carnivores by simply adding the relevant species to the list of species registered in the database – especially as the data will not vary much from the data collected for livestock:
- Date of birth
- Unique identifier (ID of Microchip)
- Owner information
Movements don't have to be notified to the database (as with livestock), however, in order for the database to be effective, a change of ownership must be notified.