The Nationwide Accelerated Dog Population Management & Rabies Control Program (NADPM & RCP) that is being implemented under the command of the Golden Throne started on 29th March 2022 and will be held until 11th April 2022 for a duration of two weeks under Bumthang Dzongkhag. Considering the COVID-19 situation in the country, the nationwide free-roaming dog sterilization campaign is being implemented in two phases. The first phase of the campaign is launched across all Dzongkhags on 29th March 2022 with the requisite number of teams targeting 100% of the free-roaming dogs in 11 Dzongkhags (Bumthang, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Mongar, Paro, Thimphu, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Trongsa and Tsirang in all the Gewogs) while a smaller team is operating in the remaining nine Dzongkhags. The second phase will be implemented from 18th April 2022 to 1st May 2022 in the remaining nine Dzongkhags (Chhukha, Dagana, Pemagatshel, Punakha, Samdrupjongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang, Wangduephodrang, and Zhemgang) with the requisite number of teams to target and sterilize 100% of the free-roaming dogs.
There are two clinic sites of two surgeon teams, one each for Chhoekhor-Tang and Chhumig-Ura Gewogs operating simultaneously manned by 69 volunteer Desuups, 14 technical personnel, 10 drivers, and 10 vehicles. The NADPM & RCP under Bumthang was launched at Livestock Extension Centre, Thangbi under Chhoekhor Gewog by Senior Dzongrab in the presence of Chhoekhor Gup, Gewog Officials, Regional heads, Sector heads, and public representatives.
Free-roaming dogs both owned and unowned is the biggest problem nationwide and it is no exception that Bumthang Dzongkhag too is spared the problem. The motto of the Dzongkhag is “Beautiful Bumthang”. Religion, Culture, Environment and Tourism are the main economic activities after the crop and livestock farming in the Dzongkhag. Thus, the Dzongkhag is considered one of the tourist hubs in the country. The free-roaming dogs (owned and un-owned) is giving one of the problems for the general public and the visiting tourists in the Dzongkhag. With the existing strategy of community animal birth control (CABC) program implementation by the Dzongkhag Livestock Sector on annual basis (year-in-year-out), there is no seen impact on the reduced dog population number. In- fact, the dog population seems to remain static despite our effort to reduce the number.
With the implementation of the nationwide accelerated dog population management and rabies control program (NADPM &RCP) under the command of the Golden Throne, with proper strategies developed, there is a big chance to reduce/eliminate the number of un-owned and owned dogs population some years from now. Henceforth, the Dzongkhag will strictly pursue the strategy of pet dog ownership registration, sterilization, and micro-chipping with the responsibility to fulfill the following National Goals and Objectives:
- Zero Free-roaming Dogs by 2040
- 100% Responsible Pet Ownership by 2025, and
- Zero Human Rabies by 2030
The Dzongkhag shall vigorously conduct two times dog sterilization program in the Dzongkhag on annual basis, till such time that there are no un-owned free-roaming dogs in the Dzongkhag.