The National Council of SPCAs forwards the media statement issued jointly by International Animal Rescue (IAR) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). We stand with them and alongside other animal welfare groups in condemning the cruelty of the “hunt and kill” method used in Mauritius.

Graphic footage of dogs killed in barbaric ways has been obtained (available here)  in which workers from the government-funded Mauritian Society for Animal Welfare (MSAW) hunt down, catch, and kill a large number of dogs. The video was filmed in September 2016 and reveals that in spite of years of international outrage over the Mauritian government’s inhumane treatment of its dog population – and despite repeated offers of support from international animal welfare groups – the country is still using a barbaric and ineffective method of dog control.

At the shelter in Port Louis, as many as 20 dogs are killed in full view of one another. As one worker throws the dogs to the ground and stands on them to hold them in place, another administers a hit-or-miss lethal injection through the chest in an attempt to puncture the heart. The dogs then stagger around and eventually collapse, while the remaining dogs try desperately to escape by climbing the gates and walls of the kennel.

There is clearly callous indifference of the dog killers towards their victims. Mauritius promotes itself as a ‘paradise island’ for international holidaymakers, but it is a veritable Hell on Earth for dogs.

CEO of International Animal Rescue (IAR) Alan Knight, stated: – “One minute a dog – perhaps even someone’s pet – is seen lying in the sun, causing no harm or nuisance to anyone. The next moment, the dog has been caught in a net, flung into the back of the van, and carried off to a slow and painful death. This exposé shows that nothing has changed since IAR first revealed the extent of the problem 2012. This revelation will have serious consequences for the country’s tourist industry, and the blame lies firmly at the door of the government.”

“Homeless dogs have a hard enough time as it is, without being killed in painful ways”, adds PETA Director Elisa Allen. “The only civilised and effective way to curb the population of stray dogs is to prevent more puppies from being born in the first place by implementing a comprehensive spay-and-neuter programme – which is precisely what we’re calling on the Mauritian government to do. And if dogs must be euthanised, the very definition of that word is ‘kind death’, yet the killing methods we’ve found are absolutely cruel.”

Upon seeing the footage, renowned veterinarian and CEO of Worldwide Veterinary Service Luke Gamble MRCVS said the following:

“The worker appears to be using intra-cardiac lethal injections which involves stabbing the needle through the dog’s chest, through the rib cage, and into a contracting muscle. It is universally regarded as an extremely painful procedure, and there is no question it would be deemed unacceptable by the international veterinary community. Every veterinary body under the sun stipulates that intra-cardiac injections are acceptable only in deeply sedated or anaesthetised animals – yet the dogs seen in the video are fully conscious. There is no question they suffered a great deal. The practice documented in the footage is completely unacceptable, it is cruel and unethical, and it offends me on every level.”

IAR and PETA have launched a petition calling for the introduction of a national humane-dog management programme; an investigation into MSAW’s activities as well as its supervision by the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security; and a complete overhaul of MSAW leadership and staff.


The National Council of SPCAs fully supports these calls.

We appeal to individuals to consider wider issues than sun and sand when planning vacations.

The animal welfare record of Mauritius is shameful and we believe that public pressure and consumer power are tools that can send out a strong message that South Africa – and the world – are watching.



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