(Photo: yucatan.com.mx)

More than 60,000 dogs and cats roam the streets of Mérida and towns across the state, which represents a health risk if one takes into account that in Yucatán there are about 2,000 aggressions per year perpetrated by these animals against humans; that is, one per hour.

Of these aggressions, 60% are against children, 31% of those attacked begin anti-rabies treatment.

Besides, it is calculated that the presence of these animals generates 124 tons of excrement every day.

Daly Martínez Ortiz, general coordinator of the Program of Prevention and Control of Zoonotic Diseases (Programa de Prevención y Control de Enfermedades Zoonóticas) of the Ministry of Health of Yucatan (SSY), said that more than 3,580 dogs are removed from the public road annually, after being run over.

Martínez Ortiz explained that dogs are prolific species that have very particular reproductive characteristics.

A work done in the state capital shows how they have the ability to reproduce all year round, with certain tendencies towards the end of spring and the beginning of summer.

“In six years,” said Martinez Ortiz, showing the study, “one animal has the ability (through her offspring) to produce 67,000 new puppies.”

He also pointed out that it is estimated that the population of street dogs and cats in Yucatan is over 500,000.

The places where the greatest number of cases have been presented by animals suspected of rabies treated by SSY are Mérida, Valladolid and Ticul.

In order to control and combat this problem, the SSY signs a collaboration agreement with municipalities on the prevention, control and epidemiological surveillance of the urban rabies virus, the humane capture and sacrifice of dogs and cats, and the sterilization of domestic animals.

The proposal is the elaboration of a regulation for the sanitary control and the municipal domestic fauna; the activation of the Consultative Council for sanitary control and protection of domestic fauna, in addition to regulating the municipal garbage dump.

“We do not want to sacrifice these animals, we opt for sterilization, and that’s where we all have to work together,” Martinez Ortiz concluded.

Source: yucatan.com.mx