Minister for tourism Patrick Arioka. PHOTO: CALEB FOTHERINGHAM/22020809
Dog control in the Cook Islands is to be ramped up over the next few months, as an initiative to have all surveyed dogs neutered and registered continues.
The strategy, which has been drawn up by Dog Registration and Animal Control Committee, will focus on the 2640 dogs surveyed last year.
and Committee chairman Patrick Arioka said it was entering the second stage of
its neutering programme.
all dog owners to come, to bring their dogs to one of the veterinary clinics to
get them neutered and to the police to get them registered, if they haven’t
done either,” Arioka said.
“We’re stepping up
the programme as we realise this is an important issue.”
Arioka said dog
owners had until the end of October to get their dogs registered, or else would
be subject to a fine or could even have their dogs destroyed.
“We’re trying to
tie up all the loose ends,” he said.
Cook Islands Police
spokesman Trevor Pitt said the
desexing is a prerequisite to registration.
“So that must be
supported in the first instance,” Pitt said.
“In any event, police
are continuing to uphold a priority to attend to complaints about menacing and
roaming dogs. Prosecutions will be pursued as the cases allow. Dogs are being
destroyed on a regular basis.”
A week ago, police
confirmed a three-year old had been attacked by a dog in Tupapa, while there
have been several reports of dog attacks over the past few months.
Arioka said of the
2640 dogs surveyed, just 53 per cent had been neutered and registered.
“That’s why we’re
ramping up the programme over the coming few months. It’s a major issue in the
Cook Islands, people are often worried about stray dogs in particular,” he
owner Paul Ash, who has often complained in the media about Rarotonga’s issues
with stray dogs in particular, said he was pleased to hear something was going
to be done.
heartened that they’re deciding to put their foot down on the issue,” Ash said.
“What would be
really great would be if the police could spare a couple of people for nightly
patrols just rounding up stray dogs wandering all over the place.”
Ash said most
evenings dogs would be barking incessantly for hours.
“You hear them going
at it from midnight to 4am, sometimes longer. It’s because they’re wandering
off, and they’re so territorial,” he said.