AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Spike in dog bites a cause for concern

The highest number of dog bite cases reported was from Masvingo province with 87 and Mashonaland East (71).

IN our NewsDay edition yesterday, we carried a story of an unfortunate incident, where a seven-year-old boy went to a neighbour’s farm and was mauled to death by a dog.

Cases of people, mostly children and the elderly, being mauled to death by dogs are on the rise.

A Health and Child Care ministry Disease Surveillance Report for the week ending May 15, 2024 showed that 487 dog bite cases and zero deaths were reported in that week.

Ninety-nine of the cases were by vaccinated dogs, while 91 were unvaccinated dogs and 297 were by dogs of unknown status.

The highest number of dog bite cases reported was from Masvingo province with 87 and Mashonaland East (71).

The cumulative figures for dog bites are 10 587 cases so far this year.

In many of these cases, it’s the more vicious breeds of boerboels and pitbulls that are killing people.

We believe government should come up with strict laws that regulate ownership of such vicious dogs if we are to reduce attacks on humans by  dogs, particularly those situations where lives are lost.

We cannot stand by and watch while lives are being lost.

The attacks are not concentrated in one area, but are across the country.

In August 2022, when the wave of violent crimes involving guns blew surged, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared an amnesty on all illegal firearm holders to voluntarily surrender them to their nearest police stations with no questions asked.

More than 400 guns were surrendered.

We urge government to come up with a similar amnesty targeting owners of more vicious dogs so that they are handed over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for safekeeping.

In the same spirit, government must also set aside funds to support the SPCA to take care of the canines.

We all have a collective responsibility to keep our communities safe. Dogs are generally regarded as man’s best friend, but can be lethal if left to roam without a leash.

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