Zimbabwe blames dogs for anthrax
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2012:
MASVINGO, Zimbabwe–-Masavingo police and security guards shot at least 20 dogs a day from mid-February to mid-March 2012 in a purported attempt to control anthrax, the newspaper New Zimbabwe reported.
“John Chikomo, the Zimbabwe National SPCA regional manager for Masvingo, said they were against ‘indiscriminate shooting of stray dogs,’ but said they were powerless to stop the exercise,” New Zimbabwe added.
“Masvingo is a chronically anthrax affected province, but stray dog control has no part in anthrax control,” responded Martin Hugh Jones, resident anthrax expert for the International Society for Infectious Diseases’ ProMed online information service. Jones has long urged Zimbabwe to escalate vaccinating livestock against anthrax.
“If the area is littered with dead livestock and there are problems with their proper disposal, I can see an argument for stopping dogs from scavenging the carcasses,” Jones added, “but vultures will be doing that anyway.”
Zimbabwean officials in January 2012 blamed anthrax for killing 88 hippos, 45 buffalo, 30 elephants, and two kudus in Mana Pools National Park. Asked Jones, “How many of the deaths have followed poachers poisoning the waters?” Earlier Jones noted that vultures, who do not contract anthrax, were found dead among the elephants.