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An urgent new approach to the stray dog situation is needed according to the Director of the Bureau of Disease Control and Veterinary Services who said on Monday that the current program is not working risking public health. According to the last nationwide survey in 2014 there are around eight and a half million dogs in Thailand. Seven hundred thousand of those are considered to be strays with a round half of that number being females who produce up to ten puppies a year. This figure means that the stray canine population could increase by up to 3.4 million dogs a year.
Stray dogs as well as being unclean and causing noise pollution can also spread diseases such as rabies. 90% of the animals found with rabies in Thailand are dogs and 60% of rabid dogs are strays. Vaccinating stray dogs from rabies is almost impossible putting anybody who is bitten by one at a high risk of contracting the disease.
The current programs allow the stray animals to be captured, sterilized and then be held in shelters for adoption. Agencies are now looking at new methods of controlling the population of the dogs. Dog owners must be held responsible for their pets to prevent the animals being abandoned one agency said. The country also needs a strict law against the illegal dog trade to prevent animals being slaughtered.