Animal rights activists outraged over plans to relocate dogs in Bangladesh

Stray dog, photo: Daniele Franchi on Unsplash
Stray dog, photo: Daniele Franchi on Unsplash

A decision by local authorities to round-up around 30,000 stray dogs from Dhaka and dump them outside the city, has outraged animal rights activists in Bangladesh.

Street dogs are a common sight in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, with packs of canines roaming freely and sleeping on pavements. Many are fed scraps by dog lovers in restaurants and markets. They also search for food in waste dumps and bins.

The dogs play a vital role in keeping the streets clean by driving away rats and other vermin, according to animal rights campaigners.

Officials say the stray dog population has exploded, adding residents increasingly complain they can’t move around freely.

Dhaka South City Corporation’s spokesperson Mohammad Abu Naser said they had become a menace. “We’re planning to relocate the stray dogs in Dhaka South to remote localities outside the capital,” Naser said. He said the operation would start next month.

City authorities used to kill up to 20,000 strays a year to control their numbers, but a 2015 court order banned the culling and animal rights groups introduced a sterilization program.

Animal rights activists said they planned to go to court to stop the relocation.

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