Street dogs in Mandalay may be in luck, well some of them at least.
Buddhists monks have started a programme to vaccinate the canines in order to prevent them from spreading infectious disease. Along with the medicine, the monks provide the animals with care and keep them away from a more uncertain future.
In Burma, there are millions of stray dogs and entrepreneurial citizens have taken notice. Across the country’s northern border, an individual dog is worth US$ 15 dollars in China – and the buyers are usually from restaurants.
However, not everyone in Burma agrees with the practice of trafficking strays into China. A Facebook group ‘People who love and are kind to animals’ are teaming up with the Myanmar Veterinary Association to combat the dog trafficking.
The veterinarians agree that capturing dogs and selling them as livestock an unacceptable way to make a living.
Even though the dogs that are sold in Chinese markets are often strays, some of the unlucky canines also have human owners. If a pet dog does go missing on the street, the owner often has to pay a large sum of money to get their pet returned.
Animal campaigners and some veterinary surgeons have started campaigning for funds to buy the animals back from the traffickers. And one day they hope to run a permanent dog shelter in the city together with local monks.