Dhaka: Bangladeshi health officials said on Monday they would use "humane" methods to cull stray dogs
following criticism of previous attempts to control the
animals which included beating them to death.
According to government data, nearly 100,000 people
reported being bitten by dogs in 2009 and at least 2,000
people died of rabies in the South Asian country, the highest
per capita rate in the world.
In July, the government launched a major anti-rabies
drive, which included killing stray dogs by beating them or by
giving them lethal injections of magnesium sulphate without
first administering anesthetic.
"We realise our existing ways to control rabid dogs
are too cruel," said Moazzem Hossain, head of disease control
at the government`s health department.
Hossain said his department had launched a trial
sterilisation programme for stray dogs which, if successful,
will be rolled out nationwide.
Local authorities are also piloting a new method of
putting dogs to sleep using anesthetic before administering a
"Normally, we catch dogs alive then inject them (with
magnesium sulphate) but this has been criticised by the World
Health Organisation and other groups," said Azmat Ali,
veterinary officer with the Dhaka City Council.
The Bangladesh Anti-Rabies Alliance welcomed the
announcement, an official saying that "sterilisation is the
most humane way to control stray dog populations and prevent