BY ALEX DADAMU
WHILE the country is fighting the war against the Coronavirus Pandemic, an environmental health issue that has been around for quite sometimes now and has become an eye-sore to suburbs in and around Honiara City is the rise of Stray Dogs Population.
The Health Risk and Noise Pollution associated with the increase of stray dogs in the city has prompt residents in the city to once again ‘sing the same old song’ reiterating the call for Environmental Health Division within the Honiara City Council (HCC) to look at ways to address the lurking issue.
During the past years, the Honiara City Council (HCC) through its Environmental Health Division established a ‘Dog Control Services’ a simple baseline program through irregularly trapping and destroying unowned dogs – to manage the stray dog population in Honiara.
However, according to HCC, the baseline program has not been effective and the Council has been looking at other ways, especially regarding population management – to reduce the stray dog population in Honiara.
Currently, there are no animal welfare organizations in the country that focuses on animal welfare and education.
When Sunday Isles spoke to residents of some Neighbourhoods in Honiara City about the issue, they shared similar sentiments which stated that ‘the increase of stray dogs is a serious issue and is causing health nuisance to neighborhoods in the city’.
“We often set dog traps to help get rid of unwanted/stray dog’s roaming in the community but we are asking if the responsible authority can do the jobs they are paid to do,” the concerned individual uttered.
A Honiara (Dogs) By-Law (the Honiara Dogs Ordinance), was created in June 1965 to legalize the possession of keeping a dog no less than six months old within the Honiara City.
The ‘Honiara (Dogs) Ordinance’ which was passed on the 22nd June 1965 and was gazetted under Legal Notice 108 of 1965 (with further amendments done on the 5th February 2010 and 23rd March 2010) stated that the Council shall impound any dog found without a disc or wondering at large in circumstances in which it constitutes a nuisance or danger to the public or any person.’
It was stated in the ‘Honiara (Dogs) Ordinance’ that any person who without lawful authority or lawful excuse releases or injures or attempts to release or injure any dog detained by the Council shall be guilty of an offense and liable to be charged in the Magistrates Court in relations to the offense.
“However, it seems that the Ordinance has been long since ceased to exist,” concerned residents told Sunday Isles.