Wildlife Specialist Dr. Therese Hard mission in Seychelles to assist in Stray Dog Control Efforts

The Department of Agriculture Welcomed the arrival of a Renowned Wildlife Specialist, Dr. Therese Hard, from Scandinavia, May 5, 2024. The distinguished wildlife specialist with an extensive experience in wildlife management and conservation, has worked on numerous projects around the world, focusing on issues related to human-wildlife conflict and biodiversity conservation. Dr. Therese Hard knowledge and passion for wildlife have earned her recognition as a leading authority in her field.

The Renowned wildlife specialist was accompanied by one of her colleague Mr. Jasper Stagegaard paid a Courtesy visit to the Honorable Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change, and Environment, Minister Flavien Joubert, to discuss strategies for an effective stray dog control. The Minister welcomed Dr. Hard by expressing the Government interest to collaboratively joint effort in determining ways to deal with the situation of feral dogs in the country. Discussion elaborated more on the emphasis for specialize training for the Animal Welfare staff as Seychelles aim is to have top level performance for the animal welfare in terms of competency.

During her visit Dr. Hard and her colleague also had a meeting with members of the different Shelters and NGOs such as Be Kind, SHTA, Pet Haven and SSPCA to discuss how they can work collaboratively, what issues they are facing, and to determine a way forward to address these issues effectively. From the short meeting they had the opportunity to visit the shelter as well as the dog pound to assess their conditions, identify any immediate needs or issues and offer support or recommendations for improvement.

Dr.Hard and her colleague also conducted an assessment of various hotspots in the area such a Providence, Perseverance, Victoria and others. Based on the assessment conducted during the visits, specific needs of each location could be identify, and equipment supplies suitable for the training programs. This will also help with the development of the action plan which will address the requirements efficiently.

Overall, by conducting these visits, assessment and meeting, Dr. Hard and her colleague gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues faced by shelters, NGOs and hotspots in the area and work towards implementing effective solutions for the welfare of animals in the community.

Her mission concluded by a debriefing meeting with the Animal Welfare officers and the Senior Coordinator for the Environment Trust Fund (ETF) and Waste Management Trust Fund (WMF) Mr. Dean Gobine. The discussion enlightened on the propose action plan for the Dog Control to be able to access funds under the (ETF) for implementation which the Animal Welfare Unit are collaboratively working with other stakeholders. Dr. Hard highlighted on the training mechanism which will bring forth effective execution of the program as she will also be contributing her expertise to the officers in conducting a comprehensive situation analysis to provide recommendations for controlling the issue of stray dogs in Seychelles. It was also discussed that the implementation of the action base on the Program will be provided by the implementation of the enforcement Law.

Dr. Hards’ extensive experience in wildlife management and conservation makes her an invaluable asset in addressing the pressing concern. Her visits have mark a significant step forward in the efforts to the humane control of stray dog in the country. She expresses her appreciation to have this opportunity to work with the Government and is looking forward for her next mission later this year, where she will be hosting a Workshop comprises practical exercise of the capturing and darting of feral dogs.

The Department of Agriculture expresses gratitude for Dr. Hard willingness to contribute her capability to this important initiative. The collaboration between the Wildlife Specialist and Seychelles authorities reflects towards a shared commitment to safeguarding the environment and promoting harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.

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