Today, nearly half of the world’s population lives in one of the many cities around the world. However, humans are not the only animals living in cities; cities are home to our companion animals, stray animals, wild animals, and pest animals.
Pets, Strays and The City
Pet ownership is on the rise globally. This is evidenced largely by the increase in pet-related services (e.g. pet clinics, and the production and sale of pet food). Incidences of pet abuse, neglect and abandonment are on the rise and pose significant challenges for those responsible to manage animal welfare.
In many cities in the developing regions of the world, stray animals are an increasing problem. The increase in stray populations stems from two main sources: pets that are abandoned, and the breeding of stray animals. An estimated 75% of the world’s dog population are strays. Strays tend to congregate in highly populated urban centres as these provide more opportunities to find food. Managing them presents a problem in many cities, and has serious implications for animal welfare, and public health and security.
Wildlife and The City
The rapid flock to urban living has increased the size of cities and transformed natural landscapes into busy urban centres, creating a new range of habitats for wild animals both inside and outside these centres. In many areas, the wild animals have become restricted to ‘islands’ of natural habitats, leading to an increase in conflicts between wildlife and people. If managed properly, these ‘islands’ could provide both social and ecological benefits for people and wildlife.
The trends described above pose a challenge for those responsible for the management of cities as well as those working to safeguard animal welfare and animal rights.
Aim of the Symposium: To gather practitioners to advance urban animal strategies that build healthy communities for pets, stray animals, wildlife and people.
Who should participate?
• City and local government agencies responsible for animal welfare and wildlife management in Sarawak, Malaysia and the ASEAN region.
• Local, national and international organizations working for animal welfare and animal rights, and those working for wildlife conservation and management.