Editor's Note

The EAI has provided ongoing research and institutional assistance to the strengthening of Myanmar civil society organizations since 2015 with the support of National Endowment for Democracy (NED). In 2019, Myanmar partner organizations established Myanmar Democracy Research Network (MDRN) and conducted a joint public opinion survey on Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC)’s public services. This series of reports is compiled as a part of the “Strengthening Civil Society Organizations in Myanmar Year Three” program. As the sixth paper of the series, Open Myanmar Initiative (OMI) published “Stray Dogs in Yangon”. Using the result of the 2019 MDRN Survey, OMI assesses citizens’ perceptions of stray dog and points out the weakness of the current system in controlling the spread of stray dogs. OMI argues that YCDC should put more energy and resources to the problem of stay dogs and should modify its control method, as most of citizens do not think of it as right and effective. 




Stray dogs can become a serious problem in public administration for the development of a city. Stray dogs can mostly be found in streets and public areas. They are waifs that may have been abandoned by their owners due to a number of reasons. Most stray dogs breed freely and have unknown owners. They cause numerous problems by barking, howling, fighting over mating, and attacks, and the smell of dog urine and feces can be very disturbing to people, especially pedestrians, in cities. Stray dog overpopulation occurs in cities where the city authorities assume that it is a minor problem with no need for a systematic and urgent solution.

As of 2018, the global stray dog population was estimated to be 900 million by some sources, while the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates it around 200 million. In Myanmar, the Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation stated in 2019 that there are 38 million dogs in the country, and 27 million of them are stray. This means that overall, 70% of dogs in Myanmar are stray dogs. The department estimated the number of stray dogs in the Yangon Municipal Area to be between 236,000 and 280,000. The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) stated the fertility of stray dogs ranges from 20% to 25%. In consideration of these statistics, it is essential to set up short-term and long-term policy to decrease the population of stray dogs living in streets and public areas of Yangon Municipal Area in order to control fertility.

This research paper reviews the opinions of city dwellers in Yangon city on the stray dog problem and the YCDC’s approaches to resolving it. It also explores the numbers, causes, and impacts of stray dogs and aims to provide useful information not only for policy makers and planners but also the public.

conducting the survey “Citizen Perceptions of Yangon City’s Public Services” in April 2019, and the results from this survey are presented in this report. The MDRN survey was conducted using four-step probability sampling. With a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of (+/-) 4.45, the data was collected from 485 adults (aged 18 years and older) in Yangon via face-to-face interviews.


Table of Contents

This paper is organized in five parts as follows:

1. Introduction

2. Increasing Stray Dogs, Growing Worries

3. Threats (disruption) from stray dogs

4. Controlling the problem of stray dogs

5. Conclusion



Open Myanmar Initiative is a nonprofit organization promoting the right to information and education. The OMI is the first ever independent political think-tank in Myanmar and they try to play an important role to formulate policy studies and recommendations on various political issues and provide them to policy makers, political parties, civil society organizations and general population through various delivery systems, including publishing, using social media networks, providing trainings and public talks, organizing seminars and conferences, as well as direct engagement with Members of Parliament and the Government Ministers.