Bangladesh capital city stops dog culls
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2011:
DHAKA, Bangladesh— “We have stopped culling except for some emergency cases, such as when rabid dogs attack schoolchildren,” Dhaka health services chief Brigadier General Nasiruddin Ahmed told Agence France-Press on August 25, 2011.
Instead, the Bangadesh Health Department and the animal advocacy group Obhoyaronnyo have sent six veterinarians to Help In Suffering in Jaipur, India, to learn how to manage an Animal Birth Control program.
“Usually, every year in July, Dhaka started culling in an effort to stamp out rabies,” reported Agence France-Presse. “Teams with iron tongs, sticks, and lethal injections were sent out to kill any dog found roaming the streets.” About 20,000 dogs per year were killed, but the killing failed to reduce the annual toll of about 80,000 dog bites, resulting in about 1,500 human rabies deaths per year.
Culling dogs was officially abandoned almost two years to the day after a raid led by Bangalore chief veterinarian Azmat Ali killed a registered, vaccinated, collar-wearing puppy belonging to Obhoyar-onnyo founder Rubaiya Ahmad, 35. “The dogs were heaped on a garbage truck, their necks and legs were broken, and they were bleeding from their mouths. It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen–I threw up,” Rubaiya said. “I took Kastanka’s body out of the truck, buried her, and pledged that I would stop this brutal dog culling once and for all.”
Rubaiya in February 2011 mobilized the first mass public demonstration on behalf of dogs ever held in Bangladesh. And she won over Azmat Ali.
“Mass dog culling was counter-productive,” Ali said. “It did not contain the dog population or control rabies–it only aggravated the situation. Immediately after each cull, the streets filled up again with dogs coming in from the suburbs.”