ERDENET, ORKHON PROVINCE, MONGOLIA — Ochirsuren Enkhjargal can always remember the day his beloved canine was shot useless.
He’d eliminated the canine’s leash so it may sure across the yard — however forgot to completely shut the yard door. Unbeknownst to him, the canine slipped by means of the opening and onto the road. Earlier than lengthy, metropolis officers tasked with the extermination of stray animals shot it useless. By the point Ochirsuren rushed exterior, his pet had taken its ultimate breath.
“It was horrible to see my beloved canine shot and killed and brought from me earlier than my very eyes,” he says, three years on.
Between 200,000 and 300,000 canines are exterminated annually in Mongolia, in line with unofficial estimates, together with grownup canines shot in broad daylight on the road and puppies stuffed into baggage which might be hit repeatedly in opposition to the trunks of automobiles and bushes. Their useless our bodies are deposited in dumpsites or buried underground, a disposal methodology that environmental activists say is a significant explanation for soil air pollution — a lot in order that the World Well being Group has despatched warning notes to the Mongolian well being ministry in regards to the situation, urging swift motion. (The ministry didn’t present a transparent reply to World Press Journal’s requests for remark on this regard.) Officers insist they’re merely following the legislation.
“We solely exterminate them in line with [local] authorities guidelines and rules,” says Oyunbayar Battumur, head of town landscaping division for Orkhon province. “There may be at present no different methodology of extermination.”
Khorloo Khukhnokhoi, GPJ Mongolia
There are not any nationwide legal guidelines regulating pets or stray animals — present laws largely offers with livestock, a bedrock of the economic system. However 1 / 4 of all Mongolian households have pets, together with 34% of those that reside in ger districts — gers are domed tents, also referred to as yurts — and 12% of these in condo buildings. Furthermore, in recent times, breeding services have mushroomed, bolstered by demand for so-called “purebred” canines and cats, extensively seen as prized possessions.
However as demand for pets has elevated, so have strays on the road. It’s common for some pet house owners to desert their cat or canine if it proves too troublesome to take care of or if it was falsely marketed as having a pedigree.
“In Mongolia,” says U. Azjargal, a lawyer and member of the animal welfare nonprofit Fortunate Paws, “pets are seen as issues.”
Animal rights and environmental activists say this has resulted in a vicious cycle: an unregulated marketplace for pets has brought on an explosion of stray animals. There are some 320,000 stray cats and canines within the capital alone, with the nationwide quantity estimated to be 5 instances increased.
Stray animals usually tend to be contaminated, growing the danger of transmitting viruses, micro organism, parasites and fungi to people. Scientists estimate that greater than 6 in 10 identified infectious ailments in individuals will be unfold from animals, and three in 4 new or rising infectious ailments in individuals come from animals.
In a research by Mongolia’s Nationwide Heart for Zoonotic Illnesses, greater than two-thirds of the canines killed by municipal authorities — from a pattern dimension of 216 — have been riven with parasites whereas 1 in 8 have been carriers of cystic echinococcosis, a zoonotic illness that may be lethal if left untreated. In line with the research, canine feces — by means of which the illness is transmitted — are discovered each 18 meters (59 ft) in Ulaanbaatar, the capital.
However mass extermination of stray animals and improper disposal additionally impacts public well being. “Giant quantities of canine carrion are buried annually even when the earlier yr’s carrion hasn’t been absolutely absorbed into the soil,” says Dr. Batdelgar Shagdar, a researcher on soil air pollution and hygiene on the Nationwide Heart for Public Well being.
Civil society teams, together with Fortunate Paws, helped formulate the draft model of a brand new legislation that regulates the swath of concerned actors: pet house owners, breeders and state companies. The legislation, at present awaiting consideration within the Mongolian Parliament, is touted as the primary drafted with lively civil society participation. “The legislation on home pets was launched earlier than Parliament upon the initiative of residents themselves,” says Zandanshatar Gombojav, speaker of the State Nice Khural, the Mongolian Parliament, noting additional that the draft acquired the best variety of votes on the D-Parliament web site, a brand new digital system that facilitates public participation within the legislative course of.
The legislation contains rules on the sale and buy of pets, stipulates the creation of a unified database for pet animals, and lays down necessities for conserving a pet indoors, particularly in condo buildings. It additionally contains liabilities for individuals who abandon their pets, companies who breed animals in unethical methods, and authorities officers that kill stray animals utilizing merciless strategies or kill pets that belong to individuals. It additionally directs authorities to undertake extra humane and efficient strategies of managing stray populations.
If the provisions are clear, says Zoriglon Tsog, head of Fortunate Paws and one of many authors of the legislation, “will probably be potential to unravel these points successfully and correctly.” The legislation, he provides, is “not solely about cats and canines, but additionally about public well being.”
Regardless of its reputation, the legislation does have some detractors. Enkhsuld Tsanamraash, who raises Bankhar canines — a furry livestock-guarding breed generally stored by Mongolian herders and Central Asian shepherds in Orkhon province — is considered one of them. “It appears to be a legislation that’s too biased,” he says, including that he’s additionally crucial of provisions that prohibit elevating preventing canines.
However Ochirsuren, who has been elevating canines since he was a boy and who, for the previous decade, has operated a Mongolian canine breeding service, is hopeful that the legislation will deter incidents just like the one which value him his pet years in the past. “They need to not shoot our canines if we allow them to out of the yard simply as soon as,” he says. “Because of this we’d like the legislation.”
Khorloo Khukhnokhoi, GPJ Mongolia