DE LA RETA Marina Julieta
Evidence-based legislation, strong institutions and consensus needed to mitigate the negative impacts of free-ranging dogs
SERGIO LAMBERTUCCI; ZAMORA NASCA LUCIA; ASMITA SENGUPTA; DE LA RETA, MARINA; PLAZA PABLO
ROYAL SWEDISH ACAD SCIENCES
Lugar: Estocolmo; Año: 2023
Dogs bring many benefits to our society but, ifnot properly managed, they can be detrimental for humans,livestock and wildlife. We highlight the increasingproblems associated with free-ranging dogs usingexamples from two regions of the world where this issueis pervasive, India and South America. In these regions,free-ranging dogs spread diseases, injure people, harmbiodiversity, and negatively impact human livelihoods. Wediscuss why mitigating these deleterious effects can beextremely complicated because there are diversechallenges such as: (a) a lack of or inappropriatelegislations concerning free-ranging dog management andhumandog interactions, (b) unregulated intentional andunintentional feeding of free-ranging dogs, (c) limitationsof animal shelters, (d) non-responsible ownership, and(e) uncontrolled dog populations. As the management ofanimal species is usually shaped by differing interests,existing policies and regulations, views and socialinfluence of stakeholders, power asymmetries betweeninterested parties is yet another challenge in this regard.We need evidence-based legislations and stronginstitutions (e.g., public health and conservationinstitutions) that are capable of implementing governanceprinciples and managing the complexities of thissocio-ecological system by taking science-based decisions,and balancing power asymmetries to promote consensus.