Israel approves pilot program to curb stray dog population
'As of now, there are 25,000 wild dogs just in the Negev area'
Israel’s southern Negev is home to tens of thousands of stray dogs, and lawmakers are looking to curb their unrestricted growth due to the animals’ negative impact on the local ecosystem.
The wild dogs in the Negev hunt the same kinds of prey as other local species like wolves, foxes and jackals, and their high reproduction rates threaten the region’s environmental balance.
In order to address the issue, Israel approved a pilot program to neuter and vaccinate the animals.
“It’s a pilot project,” Yael Arkin, general manager at the Israeli animal welfare non-profit Let the Animals Live, told i24NEWS.
“The idea is to take an area in Israel, gather these stray dogs, neuter… vaccinate, and return them to the same area they live in today,” she said, adding that the initiative aims to decrease reproduction rates and limit the spread of rabies.
Yasmin Saks Fridman, a lawmaker with the centrist Yesh Atid party serving in Israel's parliament, said that there was some pushback on the measure.
“In the committees, we’ve discovered that there is a lot of resistance from veterinarians. They do not want us to return the dogs to nature,” Fridman told i24NEWS.
“I also don’t want that, but as of now, there are 25,000 wild dogs just in the Negev area,” she said.
“Today, we are in overpopulation.”