More than 800 stray dogs have been poisoned to death in the Pakistani city of Karachi as part of the government's culling measures. Municipal workers were seen laying out the carcasses of the canines on the streets of the city awaiting disposal. After that, they dumped them into a truck before being taken away for disposal.
The killing took place during the wee hours of Thursday, 4 August, following persistent complaints from residents. The District Municipal Corporation (South) said it was a necessary measure to curb the rising population of strays in the area.
The agency's administrator Muhammad Naeem told Pakistan's Express Tribune that at least 800 dogs have so far been killed. These figures are primarily from the two areas of Saddar and Lyari. As meat shops are usually shut on Wednesdays in the areas, the municipal authorities kept poisoned meat in different places to lure the starving dogs in order to kill them.
"We made sure that no children were nearby," added the official. The number of dogs killed across Karachi, a city with a population of about 20 million, is still unavailable but estimates suggest it could run into thousands.
This is not the first time the Karachi authorities are adopting mass culling of strays. On average, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre treats about 7,000 people for dog bites every year.
Animal rights activists have often condemned the practice of killing dogs and want the authorities to adopt humane methods to deal with the situation.