Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA).
REPORT ON THE PROBLEMS OF CONTROLLING THE STRAY DOG
POPULATION OF MAURITIUS
By John Hicks (Executive Director)
& Alan Knight BSc(Hons) (Director of Operations)
International Animal Rescue
Lime House, Regency Close
Uckfield, East Sussex
Tel 00 44 (0)1825 767688
Fax 00 44 (0)1825 768012
4. Conclusions and Recommendations
International Animal Rescue (IAR)were approached by the Ministry of Agriculture and
Natural Resources (MOA)of Mauritius to take an overview of the methods involved in
the control of it’s dog population.
The brief was to talk to all of the parties involved and to anyone else that we felt would
have an input and come up with an action plan that could reduce the problems of dog
The time limit was set by IAR at two weeks due to commitments in other parts of the
IAR drew up a list of all of the parties involved in the problem. These included :
The Maritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA).
The Veterinary Association of Mauritius.
Various Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’S) involved in the rescue of stray dogs
On the Island.
Members of the public.
It was agreed that IAR would have total freedom to decide where and when it should visit
the above organizations,and IAR should not restrict itself to any particular line of inquiry
but to look at the whole process and report back to the MOA on it’s findings.
IAR were very impressed with the cooperation of all of the organizations it visited.
A true feeling of mutual help was experienced even though some of the arguments put
forward proved to have little foundation in true animal welfare policy.
We were introduced to Dr. Jalal Shuja who is the Hon. Secretary of the Society.
Dr.Shuja has been involved in building the MSPCA since it’s formation in 1971 by “The
Father of the Nation “ Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.
Dr.Shuja had previously been involved with many aspects of the civil service in the UK
and Mauritius and had previously set up the Mauritius Veterinary Service to great effect.
We were shown around the Head Quarters of the Society and their impressive Humane
In our view the MSPCA have a fine infrastructure however they seem to have lost their
way. The inflexible nature of the management system is symptomatic of the current
policies being followed by the Society.These policies seem to be based on a militaristic
view of animal control rather than a compassionate animal welfare policy that would
normally be employed .
Dr.Shuja defends his policy as being the only option open to him as the law states that
dogs must be controlled in this manner and he did not make the laws.In fact , The
Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Officers’ Powers and
Protection) (Amendment) Act 1993 seems to have been devised and amended by the
MSPCA with considerable input from Dr Shuja.
IAR have talked to many of the council members of the MSPCA and find that they are
uneasy with the role the Society is playing with regard to the destruction of stray dogs.
All of the council members we spoke to were in agreement that the dog destruction roll
should be removed from the MSPCA.
We found the views of Dr Shuja on compulsory sterilization of the dog population to be
somewhat confused. On many occasions he agreed that this was the only way to control
the dog population and the next minute he would tell us that the program would never
Dog catching and euthanasia
We were taken by Dr Shuja to visit the Dog pound in Port Louis and witnessed the
“control of dogs” within the compound.
We also went on a dog catching expedition with Dr Shuja.
We witnessed the netting of two dogs. Both of these dogs were netted in a very rough
way and were hurled into the back of the van with no thought about whether the dog
would be injured. We witnessed the hostility of the public towards the MSPCA dog
catchers and in fact were under severe threat of attack after Dr.Shuja decided to call them
all of the names under the sun!
One of the dogs caught was taken from the forecourt of a small shop and the family that
owned it immediately came running out of the shop to try and ask for the animals
return.The young daughter was crying for the release of her dog and the family were
ignored.The dog was taken!
IAR returned to the shop on our own to discuss the retrieval of their dog from the dog
compound. They told us that they would have to hire a car to go to Port Louis to pick the
dog up and told us it would cost about 1000 Rupees which is a weeks wages for most
We returned to the shop a day later to see if they had managed to claim their dog back.
We were told that they went to the dog pound and identified their dog.They had to pay
1700 Rupees (nearly 50% of an average months wages ) .After paying the money they
were told that they could not have their dog then but would need to go to the Rose Hill
HQ to pick the dog up at 5.00pm. This involved the family in four separate journeys in
one day at considerable expense in time and money to reclaim their dog. This attitude has
totally alienated the general public against the MSPCA.
It is also evident that the dogs captured are mainly peoples pets whereas the real strays
which are wild and difficult to catch are ignored.
It is our view that the MSPCA currently run an efficient dog killing service with little or
no compassion shown to the animals.The simple gentle handling of the dogs and
reassurance was totally absent. From the minute the dogs are caught to the time they are
electrocuted the dogs display all of the classic signs of being terrified .
The system used for euthanasia is a “Huelec” chamber made by M.D.Components of
Luton in the UK.
This method of euthanasia is not used in the UK anymore .It is classed as being old
fashioned by many animal welfare circles and all RSPCA centers now use the “lethal
injection” method of euthanasia. Even if the Heulec chamber is painless for the animal
the trauma it experiences by being dragged from it’s pen into the chamber needs to be
Dr Shuja showed us three crow traps one at the Dog pound in Port Louis another at the
Beau Plan Sugar Mill and a third at the Coastguard office.
The traps seem to work well ,however the birds are given no shade at all once trapped
and this should be addressed.
We have not seen a crow problem in Mauritius just an efficient method of killing them.
Stray Pigs and Goats
We have seen stray goats and pigs on the Island ,however we do not consider them to be
a pest worthy of mention here.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
We based ourselves in the office of this Ministry and were in daily contact with:
Mr.Vydelingum and Mr.Ballah.
We had meetings with Dr Arvin Boolell the Minister of Agriculture and were given
every assistance to help us carry out our work.
i was trying to find some stuffs on the net and came across this report which is dated 2002 and published by the international rescue of animals organisation.
People have your say tell us what you think and do share your stories
Dire zotte alle bord la mer -- ENA 1 tas li chien / chat marron la bas!!!
I personally think that the report and its findings are authentic and it does not surprise me of the attitude maintained towards pets on the island. At one time there was scandal of dog trafficking at the dog compound but I dont know the outcome of the inquiry.
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