Animals Fiji proposes tax for backyard dog and cat breeders

Dog attack victim two-year-old Amari Whippy after a successful second surgery is comforted by her mother, Lydia. Picture SUPPLIED

ANIMALS Fiji has called on the Government to start taxing backyard breeders of cats and dogs.

“There are zero licensed or qualified breeders in Fiji,” the NGO said in a statement on its Facebook page where it also sent well wishes to the family of Amari Whippy, the two-year-old who was attacked by a pack of stray dogs last week.

The NGO also urged the public to stop backyard breeding and buying.

Animals Fiji said the human-dog (or cat) conflict has been happening since the animals first arrived.

“We are not unique or alone in this issue,” the statement said.

“It is something cities, towns and countries around the world have dealt with and are dealing with.

“And we have the fantastic opportunity, given the time we live in and wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, to learn from what others are doing in addition to our own experiences here –– what works and what does not.

“If we, as a national community, want to reduce and prevent such human-dog conflicts, we need to spay and neuter. Ensure the community members make use of the heavily discounted and very affordable desexing (spay/neuter) clinics Animals Fiji offers in the Western and Northern divisions as well as other clinics animal welfare organisations operate.

“Have town and city councils, businesses, resorts, settlements, and villagers engage to have desexing and TNR (trap-neuter-return) clinics within your area.

“In 2018, Animals Fiji held more than 25 of these outreach clinics. We have one planned in Sigatoka for June 24-27. But we can do more with your help.”

Animals Fiji also believes the issue can be addressed through education.

“Just this week, Animals Fiji was invited by Kidsfirst Fiji in Suva and Nadi to speak to their students about doggy speak, what to do when you meet a dog you don’t know and how to act.”

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