Should we kill our stray dogs?
Stray dogs have been in the news lately. In fact the Mumbai Municipal Commissioner created quite a stir when he said that “stray dogs must be killed” as that is the world-wide practice. That is how advanced countries have got rid of stray dogs. So is he right when he said that?
Well, it seems to be true in China. And small governments like that of Samoa (islands in the Pacific Ocean), Romania and Turkey all seem to be culling dogs. And what about the more advanced countries? Well this news report refers to the United Kingdom:
Nearly 10,000 stray dogs were destroyed by local authorities in the UK last year (2003), according to a new survey by the UK’s largest dog welfare charity. According to Dogs Trust, an average of one dog per hour was being put to sleep simply because their owners could not be traced or new homes found for them.
Certain places in the U. S. also have had (still have?) a big dog problem. This 2003 news report says:
Farms aren’t the only place where these animals may be found. Low-income, high-crime neighborhoods in cities like Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York, Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, are being overrun by tens of thousands of unwanted dogs, says Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue in St. Louis, a nonprofit organization that saves street dogs. “The problem is only going to get worse,” he said. “Animal control agencies and humane societies don’t want to deal with it. It’s just too overwhelming.”
And as its mentioned here there was a shoot and kill policy in place at one time. In fact from this site I realised that dogs are often killed in animal shelters in the United states, and that is why now a strong movement has started to stop this. Today there are no kill shelters throughout the United States.
So, stray dogs have been killed in almost every country at some time or the other. And in most countries this is still happening. Countries which have a limited stray dog population have started to adopt more humane methods of controlling dogs.
Actually, I am not for killing of dogs…I abhor violence. At the same time I cannot help but wonder how our weak municipalities will deal with this problem – a problem where small kids are becoming victims of dog attacks. Its a terrible dilemma.
While I wish I could say…
Get off your backsides and do some work you lazy good-for-nothing municipal corporations. Clean up the city instead of killing dogs! Its you who created this problem in the first place!!
…what happens if our city corporations actually wake up and clean the city on a war footing? What if all the mounds of garbage disappear and the 2-3 lakhs of stray dogs in various cities have nothing to eat? I shudder to think what they will do. Sterilized or not, dogs need food!
If I say: “Kill the dogs ” I will feel guilty.
If I say: “Sterilize them, vaccinate them!” Well, thats the right solution, but I am not sure whether the cities are capable of doing it.
In the case of Mumbai, the Supreme Court will take the call. The Mumbai Municipal corporation has asked the Supreme court for permission to kill stray dogs. Earlier the High Court had prohibited the killing of dogs and ordered the municipal corporation to sterilize them instead.
Related Reading: Stray dogs are a huge problem in Indian cities
Tigers in India down to a thousand??
The vanishing sparrows of the world
History proves that humans exterminate species and make them extinct
Crows being culled in some parts of the world
(photo taken by me in Mumbai)