Some 2500 roaming dogs are to be killed by the town council of Juliaca near Lake Titicaca in Peru. Mayor David Mamani has approved a 'project' to kill 2500 roaming dogs, specifying that the council wil kill those not identified as vaccinated against rabies with a red collar. The move follows four cases of rabies in humans last year, and was proposed by the local hospital.
Local animal welfare groups are insisting that the measure is cruel, unethical, illegal and ineffective, described by the WHO as 'obsolete', and that the council use the budget to distribute the oral rabies vaccine, which costs much the same as the poison bait, and for educating people to vaccinate their animals and keep them under control. Poisoning roaming dogs is common practice among councils in Peru and this case, given the publicity it is receiving, could serve as an example to others that it is unacceptable and the accessible alternatives must be used.