This City Poisons Stray Dogs to Make It More "Pleasant" for Visitors

Officials in the ancient city of Samarkand aren't getting the kind of press they'd hoped for after the success of this year's Oriental Music Festival "Sharq Taronalari." It's probably because people are more focused on the cruelty happening off stage rather than the crooners on it.

Uzbek and foreign animal lovers alike have been enraged to find out that officials with the city, in order to make the city more "pleasant for visitors to the music festival," had initiated a campaign to poison street dogs and cats. A local news outlet, Repost.uz, posted a video on their social media outlet that seemed to show a man leaving what appears to be poisoned bait out for the city's animals. What's worse is that he was leaving the poisoned bits near people's homes. That means, not just strays but neighborhood pets could easily fall victim to this cruel plot.

Fighting back against accusations of the widespread animal cruelty, the Samarkand Mayor's Office says the city had initiated a rabies vaccine program but that one of their employees had "gone rogue" and started poisoning animals. The explanation is laughable and it hasn't quelled the public anger. Especially because sick and dead animals are popping up all over the city. Even children are turning up ill after supposedly coming into contact with these "vaccines."

This isn't the first time governments have initiated these types of mass poisoning campaigns against stray animals. Both Russia and Turkmenistan have also raised the ire of the international community in recent years for similar culls. These animal control methods are inhumane and ineffective. If they want to get to the root of the problem they must institute spay and neuter programs not programs of neutralization.

Please join animal lovers from all over the world and tell the city of Samarkand to stop their poisoning animals and to implement a humane system of animal control instead.
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