Editorial

City Council should handle issue of stray dogs

The Juba City Council needs to wake up from their slumber and urgently do something about the stray/street dogs roaming the streets of Juba. The growing number of stray dogs is alarming and poses a health risk to the residents of Juba.

I tend to wonder what the City Council has been doing all along than curb this menace before it escalated. Is it that they have been so much engaged in arresting black market fuel dealers and not on tiding up the city? Even in the issue of arresting black market fuel sellers, they have failed miserably.

Street dogs pose many dangers to the public. Some of the dogs are extremely sick with rabies and when they bite they immediately infect their victim with the disease. These dogs are urinating and defecating anywhere in the streets and this is another danger to the public.

Dog waste is a major pollutant and contaminant of the water supply. It is a serious health issue. In fact, it is estimated that 1/3 of all water contamination is a result of dog waste run off entering streams and leaching into underground well water. The average dog can produce 274 pounds of waste each year. Disease from dog waste can spread to other dogs, children and adults.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pet waste can contribute to diseases that animals pass to humans, called zoonoses. When infected waste is deposited on the ground, the eggs of certain roundworms and other parasites can linger in the soil for years. Anyone, especially dogs, who comes into contact with that soil, be it through gardening, playing sports, walking barefoot or any other means, runs the risk of coming into contact with the eggs.
Some of the hard-to-pronounce parasites that waste could harbor include Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Salmonella, as well as hookworms, ringworms and tapeworms. Infections from these bugs often cause fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea in humans. Children are most susceptible, since they often play in the dirt and put objects and fingers in their mouth or eyes.

It is an offence for a dog to be ‘dangerously out of control in a public place’. The City Council needs to act fast and now rather than later. Prevention is better than cure. They should not permit these dogs to spread their diseases to the unsuspecting public. They should be controlled and this means put down. Let us not allow these stray dogs to multiply in number for they are threatening our health.

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