Information about shooting of cats in Bishkek caused a stir in the society. People wondered why municipal services so cruelly, sometimes, in full view of children, kill stray animals. The mayor's office has repeatedly said that it is impossible to build a shelter and to keep cats and dogs. Three years ago, the former head of Bishkek, now a member of Parliament of Kyrgyzstan Isa Omurkulov stated that a shelter would be built, and he was personally against dogs shooting. The construction required about 25 million soms. But the question is still open.
24.kg news agency decided to ask respondents how to resolve the problem of stray animals without shooting.
Bolot Kaliev, head of Bishkek Mayor's Office Sanitary Department:
- The problem of stray animals can be more humanely resolved through private shelters and sterilization. Shooting, trapping exists all over the world, but the state is not able to maintain the shelters. We come only in emergency cases, that is at the request of the residents. Dogs are aggressive animals, and they should be shot. We also shoot cats, we do not shot indoors. I do not agree with the fact that children see as we shoot, the shooting mostly takes place early in the morning. There are situations, for example, when somebody has been bitten, so we come and immediately kill these dogs. You understand us: we receive calls from the residents who ask to kill a pack of dogs, we are only executors. We need to urgently adopt a law to ensure compliance with the rules of animal welfare. Look, there are a lot of housing estates around the capital, and you, for sure, have seen how the owners let their dogs out. It should be punished. Previously, there were no problems, consciousness of the people has changed, having been affected by internal migration. That is they let the dogs out and do not keep them on a leash. We need a very huge sum of money to build and maintain a shelter.
Olga Rokhmanova, the chairwoman of the Animal Assistance Fund "Right to Life":
- It is simply unreal to build a shelter in our country. It will be just money laundering, like the money for the shooting is being "laundered" now. It will be a crematorium, the animals will not get the food, they will not be treated. The population of stray animals can only be reduced through sterilization and extensive propaganda. In addition, it is necessary to impose a tax on domestic animals. If you have an unsterilized dog, you have to pay tax. We have offered it, but the idea has not even reached the Parliament. We are sterilizing animals in the private sector and at the enterprises. Shooting brings no results, the problem is old and it is not resolved. We have about 20 purebred dogs - shepherd dogs, rottweilers in the fund as of today. And they are not from the streets, it is irresponsibility of their former owners which causes an increase in the number of stray animals in the city. If there was a law, the issue could be resolved. But it is not enough to pass the law, it is necessary to monitor its execution. There should be involved hundreds of people, that is why our officials are doing nothing.
Arthur Buyuklyanov, chief state sanitary physician:
- During the first quarter of 2016, there have been caught 4, 530 dogs and cats, 6,488 animals have been vaccinated. Compared with the last year, Tazalyk began working more efficiently.
The number of homeless animals should be controlled for the prevention of rabies and echinococcosis. Rabies is an incurable disease. To avoid bites and infection, it is necessary to stay away from stray dogs. Similar problems exist in the world, it is resolved more humanely in the West - they sterilize and place animals in shelters, and we have a radical approach. But the problem comes from the residents themselves: the people, having seen the puppies from their dog, are trying to get rid of them, let them out or discard. Because of these people the number of homeless animals is growing exponentially. We are working with the consequences of the fact that people do not control the number of their pets. Therefore, it is necessary to solve the problem at this level.
Editorial note. Kyrgyzstan is still far from humane methods of stray animals' control. Therefore, the municipal services have to resort to radical methods. After all, there are cases when dogs bite children, and the parents themselves are ready to "go on the hunt." For three months of 2016, about 661 cases when animals bit the people have been recorded in Bishkek only, which is 46 cases more than in January-March of 2015. So, unfortunately, we can say only one thing: if the sanitary service stops the shooting, it will be more dangerous to go out into the streets of the capital in a year.