Hundreds of dogs have already been poisoned by Indian-Kashmire officials. Their mission is to kill all of the city’s 100,000 stray dogs to control the rabies problem and the risk to humans.
India, with the world’s rabies fatality rate, has struggled to control the millions of stray dogs.
Animal rights activists protested against the slaughter and said the killing of the dogs is illegal and cruel, and that the problem should be handled in other ways.
But city officials are continuing on with the poisonings. Dr. Riyaz Ahmad, who is organizing the poisonings, said, “These dogs have become a big nuisance and they are threatening humans.”
Ahmad added,”We have placed orders for the poison and then we will launch a large-scale drive. For the time being we are doing it with stocks we have.”
Javaid Iqbal Shah, the deputy head of the Srinagar Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals, said, “We are going to file a suit against the municipal corporation if they go ahead with this, because this poisoning drive will be against the prevention of cruelty act.”
Shad said strychnine, the poison being used, is cruel and “it cripples the nervous system and then chokes the animal. It is not a good sight to see these animals die by the roadside. I have seen children cry when they pass by these dying dogs.”
He added that he had proposed that the city implement a sterilization program instead, but he did admit that his organization had only been able to sterilize 400 dogs in the last two years.
UPDATE: Earlier today, authorities in Indian-Administered Kashmir’s main city canceled the plans to poison 100,000 stray dogs after protests from animal rights groups.
Officials said that would work on a plan to sterilize the dogs in cooperating with animal welfare groups and the federal environment ministry.
“It’s a welcome step that they have given up the idea of poisoning dogs. They should create awareness that not every dog is rabid,” said Javaid Iqbal Shah, the deputy head of the Srinagar Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals.
(Thanks Amanda and Macushla)