Tourists' perceptions of the free-roaming dog population in Samoa

Beckman, M., Hill, K.E., Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818, Bolwell, C.F., Bridges, J. and Acke, E., 2014. Tourists' perceptions of the free-roaming dog population in Samoa. Animals, 4 (4), pp. 599-611. ISSN 2076-2615

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Abstract

A study was undertaken to establish how visiting tourists to Samoa perceived free-roaming dogs (Canis familiaris) and their management, additionally some factors that influence their perceptions were assessed. Questionnaires were administered to 281 tourists across Samoa over 5 weeks. Free-roaming dogs were seen by 98.2% (n = 269/274) of respondents, with 64.9% (n = 137/211) reporting that their presence had a negative effect on overall holiday experience. Respondents staying in the Apia (capital city) area were more likely to consider dogs a problem (p < 0.0001), and there was a significant association between whether the respondent owned a dog and if they thought dogs were a nuisance in Samoa (p < 0.003). Forty-four percent (20/89) of non-dog owners agreed that dogs were a nuisance compared to 22% (80/182) of dog owners. The majority felt that dogs required better control and management in Samoa (81%, n = 222) and that there were too many “stray” dogs (67.9%, n = 188). More respondents were negatively affected by the dogs’ presence (64.9%, 137/211), and felt that the dogs made their holiday worse, than respondents that felt the dogs’ presence improved their holiday experience (35.1%, 74/211). Most respondents stated that the dogs had a low impact (one to three; 68%, 187/275) on their stay in Samoa, whilst 24% (65/275) and 8% (23/275) stated they had a medium or high impact, respectively, on their stay. Respondents showed strong support for humane population management. Free-roaming dogs present a complex problem for Samoa and for its tourism industry in particular. The findings of this study further support the need for more discussion and action about the provision of veterinary services and population management for dogs in Samoa. It also provides information complementing an earlier study of the attitudes of local Samoans.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Animals
Creators: Beckman, M., Hill, K.E., Farnworth, M.J., Bolwell, C.F., Bridges, J. and Acke, E.
Publisher: MDPI AG
Date: 2014
Volume: 4
Number: 4
ISSN: 2076-2615
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.3390/ani4040599DOI
ani4040599Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 09 Mar 2018 14:42
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2018 14:42
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32897

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