Peter Muijrers' 'Action call on strays' (GDN, August 13) raises the important question - what is the most appropriate solution to "an ever increasing problem"?
His is to shoot them.
The problem with shooting, apart from inflicting appalling suffering, is that the dog population is temporarily reduced.
Dogs generally roam for food at night, and many will escape by hiding, particularly as they tend to be shy of human contact.
Even if an entire pack is killed, dogs from neighbouring areas will soon replace them.
A bitch can produce about two litters of puppies a year. With a population thinned by culling, those pups stand a good chance of reaching sexual maturity and producing more in a few months. The population will soon recover.
Dealing with the problem by shooting dogs so comprehensively that they are eradicated would require large numbers of armed execution squads patrolling Bahrain on a continuous basis. This is neither desirable nor practical.
The Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA), as reported in this newspaper, has started a Catch, Neuter, Release (CNR) programme.
We believe this is the only viable, long-term, humane solution and it is important that it is properly understood.
The programme works by sweeping the island systematically and comprehensively, area by area, trapping the dogs in humane, baited cages.
After neutering, the dogs will be released into suitable areas in numbers appropriate for the available food and water.
The BSPCA will not return all the dogs. Each will be assessed to determine it is not sick or too aggressive to be returned.
By returning only healthy, non-aggressive dogs into suitable areas and in appropriate numbers, the general well-being of strays will be greatly improved.
They will have less need to stray into human neighbourhoods, which will reduce anxiety amongst people.
Being unable to reproduce, and with life expectancies shorter than those of pets, the stray population across Bahrain will, over the next few years, steadily decline through natural attrition.
Despite every best effort, some dogs will manage to avoid being trapped and neutered, and there will always be irresponsible owners who abandon their pets on the streets.
Following the programme the BSPCA hopes to complete in three years, authorities must launch a nation-wide dog warden scheme, as is the case in many countries. The BSPCA is lobbying to try to make it happen.
The BSPCA deals with too many cases of suffering amongst the stray population. CNR is a chance to make a real difference and has been proved to work in many places.
We have resources generously donated by our many supporters and have the backing of authorities.
CNR is happening, and it deserves everyone's support.
BSPCA executive committee