The Doha Zoo is to be redeveloped in the model of a safari park. The new zoo will be three times bigger than its existing size, where visitors can watch the animals from a close distance in a natural environment, a senior official of the Ministry of Environment said. The project is currently under design and will take three to five years to complete, according to Dr Qassim Nasser Al Qahtani, head of the Animal Resources Department.
He said the current zoo was built about 30 years ago and is no more fit to accommodate the huge number of visitors. Experts from the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) had visited the zoo and prepared a report in which they stated that the buildings are too old and pose danger to the visitors.
“The new zoo will be like a safari park, providing suitable environment for each animal. It will be three times bigger than the existing zoo and provide entertainment areas for visitors. The premises will be connected to a market in the neighbourhood,” Al Qahtani told the Qatar News Agency.
He said the Ministry is planning to set up a research centre to preserve the animal pedigree and support selective breeding of animals. A new veterinary clinic will be opened in Jumailiya near Shahaniya, which will be the ninth such facility, including the mobile clinic in the Central Market in Doha. There is also a plan to open a permanent clinic at the Central Market.
As of December 2012, the number of livestock in the country stood at 600,721, including 10,649 cows, 525,466 sheep and goat and 64,606 camels. There are 7,147 licensed cattle owners. The veterinary clinics treated a total of 561,037 animals and provided immunisation to 250,753 animals against infectious diseases.
There are several projects in the pipeline to produce poultry in collaboration with Hassad Food, the Qatar National Food Security Programme and Mawashi. Qatar currently produces 10 to 15 percent of its poultry supply and 20 to 25 percent of eggs, he added.
The Department last year caught a total of 6,171 stray cats and dogs. It runs 20 inspection centres for bird flu. No single case of H5N1 was detected in the country until now, said Al Qahtani.
The Department has numbered a total of 595,062 animals and issued 13,554 licences for ownership of animals.
Source: Peninsula Qatar
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