Encourage tolerance for local wildlife

To add to what Ms Leona Lo has written ("More humane ways to deal with stray dogs"; Forum Online, Nov 5), the crux of the issue in handling complaints about stray cats and dogs as well as wildlife such as monkeys is that it should not be a one-sided matter.

The Government should step in to inculcate tolerance and respect for all living things, including stray animals.

We have seen a rise in the number of animal activists but this is not enough. The passive majority of people should be educated to tolerate and respect animals.

First of all, the people who have chosen to live next to nature should be made to understand that there will be monkeys, squirrels, birds and stray dogs that inhabit these areas and so they should not complain about the occasional noise these animals make.

The town council and MPs should also take into consideration the fact that it could be only a few people who are persistently calling to complain about the animals.

In the case of Zhenghua Park, I met the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) officers who were in the area to remove the stray dogs on the morning of Nov 5.

One of the officers told me that they had tried to catch the dogs on several occasions but had failed to do so. But they were not even equipped with dog-catching gear, except for a supermarket plastic bag containing an ice cream tub.

How are the AVA officers expected to catch a dog with an ice cream tub?

The feeders of the stray dogs advocate trapping, neutering and releasing them.

Sterilisation will calm the dogs that have been pushed to the edge of the forest because their territory has been usurped by urbanisation.

It will also stop the population of strays from growing.

The volunteer feeders at Zhenghua Park are willing to take responsibility for the strays but is the town council ready to take up the challenge?

Charmaine Foo Yuan Yun (Ms)