Stray dog problem solvable

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 July, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 July, 1993, 12:00am

WHEN is the Government going to take the initiative and start to regulate the fast-expanding pet trade? Too many young and sick puppies are suffering and dying because of unscrupulous traders, ignorant owners and government indifference. It is shocking to see the wide variety of breeds of dogs now scavenging for a living on the territory's hillsides.

The solution is simple. Ban the import of dogs and create statutory regulations for those who wish to breed animals and run pet shops. This should include minimum space requirements and regular exercise.

The present barbaric conditions dogs are kept in in most pet shops produce over excited and uncontrollable pets. As most locals know nothing about keeping a pet it is not surprising that they find their new ''toy'' too much to handle. With over 18,000 unwanted dogs put down last year, continuing to import fancy dogs (which are often totally unsuited to this climate) is both unnecessary and immoral.

The Government should also draft legislation to give the RSPCA legal powers to act upon cruelty cases. This would help the police, who often have little time for or interest in such cases.