Yehoshua Shakdi, RTG's chief scientist/Photo: Israel Nature and Parks Authority
After thousands of terrorists infiltrated Israel on the seventh of October, now another danger is coming from Gaza: hundreds of stray dogs have infiltrated Israel in recent months and pose a clear and major danger to the health of the public and livestock, said Dr. Yehoshua Shakdi, the chief scientist of the Nature and Parks Authority, today (Monday)
. to the subject as part of the Authority's year's summary, which was held at the Ashkelon National Park, in which he reviewed the challenges, failures, and successes regarding nature conservation in the past year.
According to him, rabies mainly comes from Jordan, the Beit Shan Valley, and the Lebanese border. The solution is poisoned baits. "Rabies mainly affects foxes and jackals, But if it undergoes a mutation that will harm dogs as well, we are in a problem," Shakdi said. "For example, in Wadi Ara there are a lot of stray dogs and from there the road to the center of the country is open."
According to the RTG, there is also a fear that the dogs will attack the soldiers in the assembly areas, who meet dog packs Large in guard positions or botka positions and are helpless against the dogs.
Beyond that, the stray dogs are also a great danger to wildlife, as they become predatory dogs and hunt deer and other mammals that are sometimes in danger of extinction.
Straying dogs near Kibbutz Erez/The Nature and Gardens Authority, Kobi Sofer
"Unfortunately, there is no solution other than shooting," Shakdi explains regarding the problem of stray dogs, adding that the Bedouin also suffer greatly from them.
"No one cares, and there are many cases of poisoning in the Arad area, Nahal Kina, where they are trying to get rid of them with poison, and as a result of the poisoning, 15 eagles died there - 8% of the eagle population in Israel. That's a lot. And you can't save them."
Shakdi claims that there must be a concerted operation to thin out stray dogs for fear of an outbreak of rabies.
"A dog is a domestic animal, not in the open areas, and if everyone throws their dog away, they eventually multiply and become prey animals, especially those that come from Gaza. From the Bari area, through Reim to Moshav Takuma, I saw 70 dogs," he says, noting that cooperation is required with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Takuma Directorate.
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Stray dogs near Bari/Nature and Parks Authority, Eli Mesika
According to the authority, the war has many additional effects on nature, among them the destruction of roads, the destruction of habitats in assembly areas, waste, lighting hazards, noise hazards, erupting species, an increase in the amount of poisoning and more.
Many effects are also in the field of incoming tourism, which is in a significant downward trend about 47% less than the corresponding period.
There is no domestic tourism, RTG sites are partially open (19 sites are closed to visitors). The Authority is entering a challenging year also in terms of the budget and with conditions of uncertainty.
The Director General of the Nature and Parks Authority, Raya Shurki, who mentions two difficult years in her position with the rock disaster in Ein Gedi, Avian flu and the war in Gaza, she said: "The year 2023 opened at the Nature and Parks Authority as a year that symbolizes an upward trend and recovery, after the corona epidemic that greatly affected the Authority even after its end. The first three quarters of the year began with a positive trend both at the tourism level and in aspects of nature conservation. If so , the fourth quarter of 2023 with the outbreak of the Iron Swords War, the Nature and Parks Authority was mobilized for the war and is dealing with its many consequences. It is important to remember that 40% of the authority's budget is based on visitor arrivals to the authority's websites. The significant decrease in visitor arrivals is alongside the expected budget cuts in the government ministries and BRT , the lack of inbound tourism to Israel and the budget required to restore nature from the dangers of the war will present us with many challenges.
The Nature and Parks Authority, as a government authority that the public has authorized to be the responsible party for maintaining the values of Israeli nature on the one hand, and managing the protected areas on the other hand, is obligated to act for the benefit of the public also and especially in times of crisis and war."
Dogs wandering near evil/The Nature and Parks Authority, Nimrod Cohen
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