Activists condemn Bulawayo cull

2015-03-02 17:23

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Harare - Animal rights activists in Zimbabwe on Monday condemned a decision by the city council of Bulawayo to shoot stray dogs to curb incidences of rabies.

"This is an unacceptable method being used by the [Bulawayo] municipality and the department of veterinary services," Edmund Lanca, chair of Zimbabwe's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), told Sapa.

According to the state-controlled Chronicle newspaper, 15 dogs had already been shot in Bulawayo's Cowdray Park suburb after the council said it was worried about rabies.

Lanca said: "They [the council] want a quick-fix solution. The sad thing is that those strays may be owned."

However, Bulawayo city council public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu told the Chronicle: "People should tie their dogs and not let them out in the street because they risk being shot. This exercise is meant to prevent the outbreak of rabies."

Lanca told Sapa stray dogs should be trapped and humanely euthanised, with the Harare branch of the SPCA euthanasing up to 30 stray dogs a day.

"The shooting of strays is unacceptable. It's also dangerous to people," he said.

Fireworks could have also contributed to the dogs going missing from their respective homes.

"The sad thing is that those strays may be owned, and the problem is you've just had the Chinese New Year [on 19 February], you've had fireworks going off," Lanca said.

"Dogs get scared, they run away from their properties, they go missing for days on end."

Read more on:    spca  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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