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WSPA and Dubai to promote animal welfare

Feb 6, 2007

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Dubai Municipality and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share expertise and technical know-how with the objective of promoting animal welfare and humane treatment of animals.

Abdullah Rafia, Assistant Director General of Dubai Municipality for Environment and Public Health Affairs, and Peter Davies, Director General Director of WSPA, signed the MoU in the presence of Salim Mesmar, Director of Public Health Department, and Trevor Wheeler, Regional Director, WSPA.

The Veterinary Services Section of Dubai Municipality has established a cooperative relationship with WSPA since 2000 in the field of animal care. This MoU will help us consolidate this cooperation and develop new mechanisms in promoting animal welfare, said Mr. Rafia.

He added that the Municipality and the WSPA have common goals in animal welfare. Animal health and soundness are essential elements of public health and control of animal diseases that may cause harm or diseases to humans, he noted.

We are going to benefit from this MoU in many ways including training of the staff, getting technical support and logistics in the field of animal care. One of the specific areas is the effective control of stray cats and dogs. This assumes much significance as there is a need to have a healthy control of nearly 7,000 stray animals that are caught annually by the Veterinary Services Section at present, he said.

Davies said the WSPA, which is a non-profit organisation with more than 700 member associations from 47 countries and an affiliate of the UN and European Council of organisations, provides technical, training, and logistic support to interested organisations and public or private societies that deal with animals.

He noted that the MoU, which was signed initially for a five year period from 2007 through 2011, will promote better animal husbandry in the region with Dubai taking the first step.

This is not something new to this region. The Islamic religious teachings suggest humane treatment to animals. It is based on this conviction that the municipality‘s officials are taking keen interest in promoting better treatment to animals thereby contributing remarkably towards reducing the chances of animal diseases such as avian flu communicating to human beings, he said.

The MoU provides for one or more workshops to be conducted annually by WSPA as required by the Public Health Department at DM and as agreed by both parties.

According to the MoU, WSPA may provide training courses for DM staff in specific areas of animal handling and welfare, and supply equipment which is not available to the public health department through its suppliers. The organisations also commits itself to continuous revisions and updating of techniques and programmes delivered.

Dubai Municipality will commit to the international standards of animal welfare recommended by WSPA and not in contra.

indication to the local rules and regulations. It will provide the training facilities personnel and necessary equipments.

The Municipality will act as a model to the area and work with WSPA to provide training and assistance to other programmes in the region.

The MoU suggests that representatives of DM and WSPA shall meet at least once a year to review and discuss the annual programmes.

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