International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


In Cyprus, a dog control scheme was started in 1971 within the context of an all-inclusive

anti-echinococcosis campaign. At the time, it was estimated there were more than 100,000 dogs on the island; most were strays (even many of those that were purportedly "owned"]. These had been identified as infectious agents of echinococcosis in Cyprus (the average surgical incidence in humans over the 30 years before 1970 was 12.9/100,000]. The destruction of stray dogs is accomplished by using guns that fire a syringe containing a euthanizing drug. In the past (before 1970), various inhumane methods used by animal control officers or other individuals included hitting the dog on the head with a sharp tool, hanging the dog from a tree, poisoning it with baits, or shooting it with a hunting gun. Despite an initial adverse reaction on the part of the general public and dog owners, the organized destruction of stray dogs that started in 1971 continued without interruption. Currently, the dog population is under control, and all stray and unwanted dogs are euthanized. The Cyprus experience, in which the Department of Veterinary Services undertook the initiative for dog control, can well serve as an example for many other countries.