From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2012:
Street dogs are purged in Sofia following fatality
Following an incident in which a man was attacked by stray dogs and died 10 days later, Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova has given order to hunt and kill all stray dogs who inhabit that district. The media have influenced popular opinion to blame nonprofit organizations and dog-lovers. Hostile attitudes towards stray dogs have escalated into organized mass killing of stray dogs by ordinary citizens. Nonprofit organizations have received photos of hundreds of dogs who have been drowned, decapitated, or burned to death. Dogs are disappearing all around Sofia. Trucks have been loading stray dogs, including dogs who have already been neutered.
Those dogs are not to be found in the Sofia municipal shelter. Where have all those dogs gone?
The government is not enforcing compliance with the Animal Protection Act. Agriculture minister Miroslav Naydenov has announced an anti-stray-policy. The Animal Protection Act, adopted in 2008, authorized a sterilization program which was to diminish the number of stray dogs to zero by 2011. The mayor was to be fined for any noncompliance. Yet no fines have been paid by the mayor. Nobody has taken responsibility for the situation.
Seventy-five animal welfare organizations from Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Hungary and Switzerland have called for Naydenov to resign due to “years of institutional languid attempts and lack of control” regarding the stray dog issue. In an open letter to the prime minister, the president, and the ombudsman, these organizations have asked for a nationwide trap, neuter, and return program, as recommended by the World Health Organization.
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