No Sri Lanka dog killing
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2012:
COLOMBO–Sri Lanka health minister Maithripala Sirisena on
Monday, January 9, 2012 beat a quick retreat from an announcement
he reportedly made via the Swarnavahini television network the
preceding Friday night that the government would resume killing dogs,
after a five-year hiatus.Sri Lanka, a nation of about 20 million people, has about
seven million dogs, who bite 2,000 to 2,500 people per day,
“Clearly our new policy has failed,” viewers heard Sirisena
say. “As a government, we have decided to go back to the previous
practice,” suspended in 2006 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Reviewing the case for vaccinating and sterilizing street
dogs instead of killing them, Rajapaksa “went through the draft
no-kill policy and approved and directed it,” Animal Welfare Trust
board member Visakha Tillekeratne told The Sunday Leader.
Vaccinating 444,144 dogs against rabies in the first nine months of
2011, spaying 36,552 and administering contraceptives to 22,527,
the Sri Lanka Health Ministry at the end of September 2011 celebrated
a drop in human rabies deaths from 59 to 31. Eleven districts
reported no rabies deaths at all.
“We are shocked that the minister is trying to take the
country back to 1893,” responded Sathva Mithra president Sagarica
“Is he trying to discredit the president?” asked KACPAW
president Champa Fernando.
Protest went viral on the Internet over the weekend of
January 7-8. By Monday morning, ColomboPage reported, Sirisena was
only “planning to educate the public on responsible pet ownership and
on proper garbage disposal as means to control the growth of stray
dog numbers,” and had “dismissed the idea of killing stray dogs,
since the dogs who would be caught first would be the harmless ones
and once the harmless ones are removed the more menacing ones will
come out from hiding.”