Protest at Philippine dog killings
Manila - Dog pounds in the Philippines are being allowed to kill stray dogs with vehicle exhaust fumes, local animal welfare groups said on Friday, a practice they claim is cruel and inhumane.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and two other groups called for the government to reverse an agricultural department ruling in June that approved the gassing method to kill dogs.
"If we need to put a dog to death because he cannot be cared for, the least we can do is send him off as painlessly and as humanely as possible," PAWS programme director Anna Cabrera said.
Carbon monoxide gassing is used in several US states and Japan to put down animals, but in a less cruel manner, according to Cabrera.
She said in the Philippines it was done by shutting up to eight dogs in a metal box, attaching a hose from a car to the box, and revving the engine to fill the box with exhaust fumes.
Cabrera said it normally took up to 10 minutes for the dogs to die.
PAWS said in a statement the preferred method of putting down dogs around the world was by lethal injection, but this was often too costly in the Philippines.
Over 27 000 dogs are put down in Philippine pounds each month, according to PAWS, but it said it did not know how many of these deaths were via the gassing method.
In response to the issue, the agriculture department released a statement saying it supported the humane treatment of animals.
The department's head of animal industry, Efren Nuestro, said the agricultural secretary was aware of the complaints, but gave no indication as to whether the government intended to ban the practice.