Stray Cats of Qatar

The stray cats of Qatar in Doha, are being managed humanely on an official basis with the help and advice of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the Qatar Cat Coalition. Like many major cities in many countries, Doha in Qatar had a "feral cat problem." A lot of people don't like to see stray cats in public places. Not everyone is tender towards them, in fact, many are downright cruel and one can see their argument. But the big issue is how to deal with it and the only way, and this has been supported by the authorities in Qatar, is to go through what might seem to be the slog of trap, neuter, medicate and return.

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It seems that, initially, ad hoc attempts were made to deal with the complaints. No doubt these were pretty ineffective and probably cruel. The Qatar Cat Coalition (QCC) became involved and asked the WSPA to step in and advise during a meeting with central government people. It seems that this was dealt with (at this stage) in a professional manner, with the three best organisations involved at the same time.

This in outline seems to be the order of events (and some people in places in Australia might well learn from this):
  1. Complaints by the public about feral and stray cats
  2. Local authority probably round up and kill cats in reaction to complaints
  3. This fails to reduce population of feral cats as unneutered feral cats are very good at surviving by breeding and fill the void (see vacuum effect)
  4. Qatar Cat Coalition (QCC) calls for change in policy as a result
  5. Meeting set up with government+QCC+WSPA and a humane program devised based on TNR (trap, neuter and return)
  6. Qatar Gov. officials visit a project in Dubai where TNR is practiced
  7. Dubai authorities provide glowing report and the evidence is in front of them
  8. Qatar authorities ask QCC and WSPA to set up TNR scheme in Doha
  9. WSPA delivered an initial training course on trap neuter return methods, which is well received (note: it is nice for people involved in this kind of work and motivating, to be doing things in an humane manner)
  10. Practical training is set up to train Government and QCC workers in humane TNR. Vets are involved too
  11. 2008 - In Doha there are 4 government managed trapping teams, monitored by the QCC
  12. The stray cat and feral cat populations are managed at last
  13. The Qatar government ask WSPA and QCC to get involved with a similar scheme to control stray dogs.
The stray cats of Qatar in Doha are now managed humanely. The only way, it seems to me, to do this is as described. Shooting and ad hoc killing of feral cats will fail and demotivate not to mention cause a lot of suffering to innocent and vulnerable animals to whom we owe a duty to treat properly because, ultimately, we put them there.


Anonymous said…
I'm afraid that there is no evidence of anything being done in the Old Airport area and certainly all of my attempts at contacting the Qatar Cat Coalition have met with nil success.
No one answers the one phone number I was given for them and all emails remain unanswered after many months. Thanks. Australian resident in Al Matar Qadeem.

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