Participatory methods for the assessment of the ownership status of free-roaming dogs in Bali, Indonesia, for disease control and animal welfare

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Morters, M.K. ; Bharadwaj, S. ; Whay, H.R. ; Cleaveland, S. ; Damriyasa, I. Md. ; Wood, J.L.N. (2014)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Journal: Preventive Veterinary Medicine, volume 116, issue 1-2, pages 203-208 (issn: 0167-5877)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.04.012
  • Subject: Food Animals | Animal Science and Zoology

The existence of unowned, free-roaming dogs capable of maintaining adequate body condition without direct human oversight has serious implications for disease control and animal welfare, including reducing effective vaccination coverage against rabies through limiting access for vaccination, and absolving humans from the responsibility of providing adequate care for a domesticated species. Mark-recapture methods previously used to estimate the fraction of unowned dogs in free-roaming populations have limitations, particularly when most of the dogs are owned. We used participatory methods, described as Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), as a novel alternative to mark-recapture methods in two villages in Bali, Indonesia. PRA was implemented at the banjar (or sub-village)-level to obtain consensus on the food sources of the free-roaming dogs. Specific methods included semi-structured discussion, visualisation tools and ranking. The PRA results agreed with the preceding household surveys and direct observations, designed to evaluate the same variables, and confirmed that a population of unowned, free-roaming dogs in sufficiently good condition to be sustained independently of direct human support was unlikely to exist.
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