By: Dan Phale*
Dogs have been domesticated from prehistoric era for diverse purposes which include hunting, as well as herding. Other purposes are for protection, and helping in police and/or military operations; whereas some people regard them as companions, and others in some countries consider them as a source of meat which in my social setup is a taboo.
But of all the purposes I will ever quickly give a nod to the notion of keeping dogs for security purposes whereas they are trained to help in police and/or military operations and to offer protection in households or companies. I actually applaud the fact that dogs have the enormous abilities to sniff and detect anything which is unwanted by imminence of its danger to the human society. As such dogs are able to alert their masters through barking or something like that.
Currently hundreds of thousands of dogs are kept in my country most of which are seen wandering up and down unattended, and thus are seldom given anti rabies vaccine, thereby increasing the risk of many people getting bitten. Therefore it is of great worry to notice that dogs exist to cause a number of problems to humans.
In this regard rabies happens to be the major risk because it is a deadly viral disease which is transmitted mostly through dog-bites. Papers indicate that the World Health Organization in the year 2005 reported that about fifty five thousand (55,000) people die in Asia and Africa every year from rabies with 90% of the infected human beings getting the virus from dog-bites.
Some years ago our own fellow countryman died – may his soul rest in the eternal peace with the Lord… He was severely bitten by his master’s fierce dogs in the capital city, Lilongwe. Since such an indescribable pathetic occurrence I have been tempted to think that dogs ought to be kept under very strict regulations which among others should include:
- Giving a maximum number of two dogs per house;
- And a compulsory third party policy of insurance to cover the victims of dog-bites.
In all cases the best practice in keeping dogs is to keep them chained up all the time unless otherwise, so as to allow owners to monitor and /or control them. Otherwise dogs are more than not likely to be deemed as dangerous servants.