Police open investigation in southern India after 300 stray dogs found dead

An animal rights activist alleges local village authorities carried out the poisoning to reduce the street dog populations in the area

Stuti Mishra
Monday 02 August 2021 14:53
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<p>Representational: At least 300 stray dogs were allegedly poisoned, killed and their carcasses dumped near a lake in southern India</p>

Representational: At least 300 stray dogs were allegedly poisoned, killed and their carcasses dumped near a lake in southern India

At least 300 street dogs were allegedly poisoned and killed, after which the carcasses were dumped in a pit near a lake in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state, according to an animals rights activist.

Srilatha Challapalli, a treasurer of the Challapalli charitable trust which fights for animal issues, has claimed local village authorities to be responsible for the act.

Ms Challapalli told Indian media outlets that authorities in Lingapalem village hired “animal killers” to poison the stray animals as part of their resolve to reduce the population of street dogs, instead of sterilising them. The incident, she said, took place on 24 July in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district.

Ms Challapalli has filed a complaint with the local police in neighbouring Dharmajigudem village, after which a case was registered under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act against the secretary and the head of the village council.

She said she received information of the carcasses in the area and visited the location, where she saw the bodies of 300 dogs buried in the pits, most of which were “in a semi-decomposed state”.

“After receiving the information, I visited the spot and found many dog carcasses. They were in a semi-decomposed state. In my inquiry I found that the Lingapalem local village officials hired some animal killers and injected the dogs with poison and killed them,” she was quoted by news website The News Minute as saying.

Police have carried out a postmortem on the dog carcasses to determine if they were killed using poisonous substances. No further details have been given by the police yet.

“The activist alleges that these dogs were killed by the local village authorities’ office. Based on the complaint, we have registered a case and also conducted an inquest. The investigation on the incident is underway, and we are yet to ascertain the facts,” a police official from Dharmajigudem told TNM.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in India prohibits the killing or mutilation of any animal, including stray dogs and any other kind of cruelty towards animals. Critics of the law point to it not being tough enough to prevent a large number of incidents of animal cruelty that occur in the country.

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