Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1983

Abstract

In Cyprus, a dog control scheme was started in 1971 within the context of an all-inclusive anti-echinococcosis campaign. At the time, it was estimated that there were more than 100,000 dogs in the island, almost all of which were strays (even many of those that were purportedly "owned"]. These had been identified as infectious agents of echinococcosis in Cyprus (the average surgical incidence in humans, over the 30-year period prior to 1970, was 12.9/100,000]. The destruction of stray dogs is accomplished by using guns that fire a syringe containing a euthanizing drug. In the past (prior to 1970), various inhumane methods used by dogcatchers or other individuals included hitting the dog on the head with a sharp tool, hanging the dog from a tree, poisoning it with baits, or shooting it with a hunting gun. Despite an initial negative reaction on the part of both the general public and dog owners, the organized destruction of stray dogs that started in 1971 was continued without interruption. At present, the dog population is under control, and all stray and unwanted dogs are euthanized. The Cyprus experience, in which the initiative for dog control was undertaken by the Department of Veterinary Services, can well serve as an example for many other countries.