Indian Kashmir To Poison 100,000 Stray Dogs To Control Rabies

IndiaHundreds 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.

Source: Associated Press, CNN

(Thanks Amanda and Macushla)

28 Responses to “Indian Kashmir To Poison 100,000 Stray Dogs To Control Rabies”

  1. thejanine says:

    Does anyone know how or what we can do from the states to prevent this? These poor dogs! Anyone have any contacts or resources on the ground? There has got to be a better way. Not only should India’s children not have to witness this torture, the dogs themselves deserve better.

  2. purringfur says:

    There should be world-wide outrage over the manner of death.

    The Times of India newspaper ran the story and has a place at the end to write to the editor…

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.....844801.cms

    Can we find any addresses?

  3. Hazel Chambers says:

    Disgusting!!

  4. furmom says:

    This is a very tragic state of affairs. However we who are sitting in our rich country, with no rabid animals running in the streets cannot sit in judgement. If it were your children or loved ones involved you would see it differently. Critical outraged letters to a newspaper editor will not help in the least. To go out and try to trap and handle practically wild rabid animals by hand would almost surely get a number of people infected. An oral vaccine (I think they are working on one for wild animals) would be nice, but probably far too expensive for a poor country, and it’s a bit late for that by the sounds of things. Trying to track and vaccinate people after they have been bitten is just not practical under these circumstances, which is how rich countries handle the problem. Unless you want to volunteer to go catch rabid aniimals in the streets and put them down somehow else, think of how you are going to inject a snapping possibly rabid animal,be part of the solution, don’t just criticise.

  5. Linda's Cats says:

    Thank you, Furmom.

    Let us also remember the abject poverty of much of India. The people struggle to feed themselves, and dogs become a challenge to those resources.

    as furmom reminds us, in situations where its “my kids” or “some dogs”, i assure you my kids will win.

    Are there “better” solutions? There are, but they are costly. And dont’ expect help from the US. Not when this country won’t even help foreign countries with birth control for humans; health care for humans; food and clean water for humans. As much as animals matter to me, if we are going to send money to help the world, i want it so start with helping children who are in serious need.

  6. furmom says:

    THere might be a better poison than strychnine, a particularly horrible way to put animals to death, and a risk to children as well if left out for strays to pick up. Warfarin works, or used to work for rats, i don’t know how well it would work for other animals, and vitamin d in large doses is also very effective, but I’m not sure exactly how painless the death. Both of these last two would also be a serious risk to children if ingested accidentally.

  7. Anonymous says:

    from A.P. (and others)

    “While officials have touted the program as an anti-rabies drive, Ahmad acknowledged that with only two deaths from 1,341 dog bites reported in Srinagar last year, it was more about appeasing the public.”

  8. Carolyn & Maggie says:

    I agree this is a tragic state of affairs. I have lived in Belize for the past 21 years and can recall reading of 2 children that died of rabies after a dog bite. There is a massive feral dog problem here and from time to time they are poisoned. Rabies is just one of the many problems villages have with such dogs.

    I had a personal encounter with a dog who staggered up to our house and threatened my (immunized) dog — she was eventually killed some days later when it finally became clear to the owners that she was really sick. Her head was sent to Panama for laboratory analysis where rabies was confirmed; her puppies were then killed since that meant they were carriers. Very very sad.

    One year I can recall a Dutch organization ran a mobile rabies vac vehicle around the country and immunized as many dogs as it could catch, then put identifying nylon collars on them. The collars lasted about a year and the vaccinating, hopefully longer.

    But these efforts are just sporadic; the Belize government does not have the resources to continue such efforts. A friend of mine has since started a Humane Society and of course promoting immunizations and neutering are top priorities. Vets often contribute their services for this. But long term funding and education are always enormous stumbling blocks.

    I agree that India’s problem and solution are tragic — I am not defending it — just presenting another experience from a developing country.

  9. Amanda says:

    Some good news everyone, they have halted plans to poison the dogs.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/.....index.html

  10. furmom says:

    Even with “only two deaths” something like rabies can get out of control very quickly, no matter how civilized the country. In our province (BC, canada) a litter of puppies was sold at a flea market, in a populated area. Lots of people and their children had stopped by to pet the puppies, several were sold, probably no record of the buyers under those circumstances. Turned out the puppies had rabies. Many people were at risk, many difficult to identify and track down. Treatment has to be started pretty quickly, even without overt symptoms, because by then it is too late. If it can happen here, where rabies is not common in the pet population,it could happen anywhere.Rabies vaccination should be mandatory, but then so should selling puppies on the street be outlawed.

  11. purplecircle4pets.com says:

    I agree with Furmom and others. It is great that the process has been halted, however they still have a huge problem in dealing with the rabid dogs.
    Living in Canada, when there is concern of just 1 rabid dog it seems like the whole city is on alert….. and the calvary comes out. I can’t even imagine what these people are going thru. Considering the poverty in India, and unlean water, does anyone know of what alternatives may be used other than poisoning the animals? A shot to prevent this from happening would be great, however, when there is no food on the table, I think it is the last thing on people’s mind.
    My heart goes out to both the people and the animals in this country.
    Cheryl

  12. Lynne says:

    From the article that Amanda cites:
    Local officials would instead work on a plan to sterilize the strays in cooperation with animal welfare groups and a team from the federal environment ministry, said Syed Haq Nawaz, commissioner of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

    This is a great way to control the stray population problem as well. Like Cheryl, my heart goes out to the animals and the people. It’s heartening to see compassionate efforts being made.

  13. Don Earl says:

    It sounds like India would be a great place for Menu Foods to market its products.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “… selling puppies on the streets should be outlawed.” Selling pets should be outlawed!

  15. Andrea says:

    “Selling pets should be outlawed!”

    Why? What’s wrong with buying pets from a reputable breeder?

  16. Buhawi the Dog Lover says:

    In my country, there are also thousands of stray dogs and the threat of rabies infection is something a lot of people are really scared about.

    Mass poisoning, however, has never been resorted to. Our government emphasizes responsible dog ownership and the need to have dogs administered with anti-rabies vaccine.

    Every time I get to talk to people about the subject, I remind them that dogs are not the only carriers of the rabies virus, although they are the most prominent and closely associated with humans.

    I also agree with the concept of responsible dog ownership. Every dog should be the owner’s responsibility. If you take care of your dog, keep it at home, ensure that its healthy and well-vaccinated, then the risks of rabies infection will be greatly minimized - even zeroed.

    If owners will only take care of their dogs, I don’t think there will be stray dogs. Authorities must enforce stricter policies requiring dog owners to keep their dogs from going stray and, hence, increasing the possibility of getting rabies infection.

    More importantly, government must increase its capability to provide anti-rabies vaccine at minimal or no cost to dog owners. These efforts will be both in the interests of humans and dog alike.

  17. dog lover says:

    No matter what, we as human beings have domesticated these animals and it is our responsibility to take care of them. They rely on us. It is our responsibility as Humans with souls to address these issues with a little heart. Being poor isnt an excuse in my opinion.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Please read the source link, not all the dogs are feral, some are semi, and there are some that are not feral at all. The story I read had pictures of a boy chasing a pack away, and another where the dogs and cows were together in a dump site looking for food. This is horrible and cruel, the fact that life is sacred to India is the reason this has gotten so out of hand, but I think they need to find a better way to control the situtation. Spay/Neuteur from the start, would have stopped this early on.

  19. sandi says:

    Where is Peta, why cannot they get in there and do some spay/neutering??

    Do something worthwhile and useful

  20. Buster says:

    AND HERE is what the “Beijing Olympics” is causing!! CATS being rounded up!! AWFUL!!!
    When will this STOP??
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pag.....ge_id=1811

  21. anon says:

    Things like this will stop when there is not such an overpopulation of pets!
    India and China have more people than they can feed and more born everyday, compassion for animals, and people, is not a luxury they can afford.
    There are places where going out at night involves going armed because of packs of starving dogs. And there are places where packs of unwanted children run those same dark streets, rabies is the least of what can happen.
    If uncontrolled breeding of pets, and people too!, continues there will be puppies in stew pots right here in the US of A, or worse.

  22. Highnote says:

    I wish there was another way to control this besides poison. A wild dog is totally different then a domesticated dog. They will attack people and some can be very savage. Even in America there have been dogs thrown out in the country where they become wild and savage and I have had first hand experience with a few of them.
    My grandmother told me stories of how a wild pack of dogs would come to town and attack children in her day. When dogs become wild and run in packs they can become very vicious and are not afraid of humans.
    This country has a great problem that needs to be taken care of. But.. killing off the wild dogs will only stop it for a while. There will always be more of them till they start spading and neutering them.
    It should also be a criminal offense in all countries that throw out their pets to become wild in the first place.
    This poison to me is not a good thing because it will not only kill wild dogs but also many other animals as well. Cats, and the wild animals that may come upon the meat that they have put the poison in. I do not know the answers for them but I hope that they find a better one for these poor dogs.

  23. Frogdogz says:

    Where is Peta, why cannot they get in there and do some spay/neutering??

    Where’s Peta? Peta is where the usually are - off murdering feral cat colonies, and killing 98% of the animals they brought in to their shelter. Plus, they’re super busy trying to kill off as many Pit Bulls as possible, and lobbying for BSL laws across the country. Cruelty free, unless you’re a pit bull. Or a feral cat. Or a pregnant dog. Or… well, you get the idea.

    What makes you think they’d do more for the dogs of India? If anything, Peta is probably jealous that they can’t whack 10,000 dogs in one go. It must be galling for them to be outdone by the Indian government.

    Also, since when do Peta give a rat’s ass about low cost spay and neuter? They’d rather spend money dressing up in chicken costumes and protesting outside of KFC.

    I wish people would finally get over their view of Peta as the ‘animal’s champions’. They are no such thing, unless you consider the murder of healthy dogs and cats, and the tossing of their bodies into Dumpsters to be the definition of ‘protection’.

  24. ACE says:

    RABIES Vaccine Bait probably costs LESS than poison!!!

    Bait them with the chewable VACCINE and REDUCE the incidences of Rabies.

    I bet other countries can EVEN DONATE their overstock or surplus of rabies bait vaccines to you!!!!

    STOP THE KILLING!! LIVES ARE NOT EXPENDABLE!!!!

  25. Furbabies says:

    Why is it that poorly educated, ignorant people (and often Third World Countries) always think that the answer to a problem is to KILL? Death solves anything. And the more painful a death the better? I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, most people suck!

  26. shibadiva says:

    Furbabies, sadly it isn’t just the poorly educated. That’s also the mantra of North American animal control organizations who “euthanize”, “provide humane relief” and “put to sleep”.

  27. JAVED IQBAL SHAH (VICE PRESIDENT SOCIETY FOR PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS SRINAGAR KASHMIR, J&K) says:

    THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE OF ALL HUMANE AND COMPASSIONATE ANIMAL LOVERS TO THE ATROCIOUS PROPOSAL TO CULL THE POOR STRAY DOGS IN KASHMIR HAS ENCOURAGED THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN CONSTANTLY ADVOCATING ADOPTION OF OTHER ALTERNATIVE METHODS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. THE FACT IS, AS SOME OF YOU WHO POSTED, HAVE RIGHTLY NOTED THAT THERE IS A MINISCULE PERCENTAGE OF DOGS THAT CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS RABID. THAT NUMBER ISNT CERTAINLY IN HUNDREDS BUT HARDLY A SCORE OR LESS MAYBE. WE HAVE THE FIGURES OF THE STATE RUN ANTI-RABIES CLINIC TO DRAW FROM. TWO (2) DEATHS IN THE WHOLE OF THE YEAR GONE BY. THE FACT IS THAT AT THE RARE TIMES THAT A DOG BITE IS REPORTED EITHER THE VICTIM HAS FAILED TO GET AN ANTI-RABIES SHOT DONE OR WORSE STILL ON AN ODD OCCASION OR TWO THE VACCINE HAS BEEN REPORTEDLY OUT OF STOCK AT THE SOLE ANTI-RABIES CLINIC ? THE PROBLEM OF THE CANINE OVERPOPULATION HAS BEEN GROSSLY EXAGGERATED, INSTEAD OF DEVISING AND ADOPTING A LONG TREM STRATEGY TO COUNTER IT LIKE ANIMAL BIRTH CONTROL, VACCINE ADMINISTRATION ETC. ALL YOU CONCERNED SOULS OUT THERE PLEASE HELP, WITH ADVISE, AND RESOURCE IF POSSIBLE.

  28. JAVED IQBAL SHAH (VICE PRESIDENT SOCIETY FOR PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS SRINAGAR KASHMIR, J&K) says:

    THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE OF ALL HUMANE AND COMPASSIONATE ANIMAL LOVERS TO THE ATROCIOUS PROPOSAL TO CULL THE POOR STRAY DOGS IN KASHMIR HAS ENCOURAGED THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN CONSTANTLY ADVOCATING ADOPTION OF OTHER ALTERNATIVE METHODS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. THE FACT IS, AS SOME OF YOU WHO POSTED, HAVE RIGHTLY NOTED THAT THERE IS A MINISCULE PERCENTAGE OF DOGS THAT CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS RABID. THAT NUMBER ISNT CERTAINLY IN HUNDREDS BUT HARDLY A SCORE OR LESS MAYBE. WE HAVE THE FIGURES OF THE STATE RUN ANTI-RABIES CLINIC TO DRAW FROM. TWO (2) DEATHS IN THE WHOLE OF THE YEAR GONE BY. THE FACT IS THAT ON THE RARE OCCASION THAT A DOG BITE IS REPORTED EITHER THE VICTIM HAS FAILED TO GET AN ANTI-RABIES SHOT DONE IN TIME (LACK OF AWARENESS & AT TIMES RESOURCE) OR WORSE STILL ON AN ODD OCCASION OR TWO THE VACCINE HAS BEEN REPORTEDLY OUT OF STOCK AT THE SOLE ANTI-RABIES CLINIC ? THE PROBLEM OF THE CANINE OVERPOPULATION HAS BEEN GROSSLY EXAGGERATED, INSTEAD OF DEVISING AND ADOPTING A LONG TREM STRATEGY TO COUNTER IT LIKE ANIMAL BIRTH CONTROL, VACCINE ADMINISTRATION ETC. ALL YOU CONCERNED SOULS OUT THERE PLEASE HELP, WITH ADVISE, AND RESOURCE IF POSSIBLE.


Close
E-mail It