The statement follows The Phuket News posting the story “Assistance sought in tranquillising pack of wild Phuket dogs”, published yesterday (Jan 8). (See story here.)
Mr Dalley, founder and president of the Soi Dog Foundation, said he was perplexed by the report.
“This is the first case that Soi Dog has encountered of dogs biting people on Nai Yang beach,” he said.
“The Soi Dog Foundation is perplexed by the opinions of the anonymous so-called spokesperson. We do not know who this person is. His or her comments do not reflect Soi Dog’s view, and he or she is not authorised to speak for the foundation.”
He added, “We believe that this situation probably relates to some feral dogs living in the National Park area, and not to those living in front of the beach restaurants and hotels.
“The latter are friendly and well loved by the majority of tourists and locals alike.
“If dogs are biting people then clearly they need to be removed.
“However, it is very important to ensure reports are accurate. Soi Dog is concerned about the report's accuracy as it might feed into misguided proposals to try to move all free-roaming dogs on the island to the Government Dog Pound.
“Soi Dog believes such a strategy would be extremely difficult to implement, and would have long-term negative consequences in relation to both dog population control and the risk of rabies.”
Mr Dalley said he feels that the government’s approach to stray dogs should perhaps be refocused.
“We believe the Phuket authorities should focus instead on stopping the import of puppies from puppy farms in rabies-endemic areas – puppies that are often dumped if they are not sold.
“Of those that are sold, many later become unwanted pets and are put out on the streets.”
He also noted, “The number of stray dogs has fallen drastically over the years and Phuket has been declared rabies-free.
“This is solely because of the large-scale sterilisation and vaccination campaign carried out by Soi Dog, with the animals being returned after treatment to their original territories.
“Removing vaccinated and sterilised dogs without cause simply creates a void for new dogs to move into.”
The Soi Dog Foundation has been long credited by experts and dog-lovers worldwide for the good work done on reducing the number of strays on Phuket, and elsewhere in Thailand, and for its critical campaign against the inhumane treatment of dogs farmed and slaughtered for the dog-meat trade.