Dogs are hunted in Kirkuk
More than 3,000 dogs were killed in 18 months

June 21, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Kirkuk, June 2018, The municipality workers pick up the bodies of “stray dogs”. Photo: Municipality Communication

Kirkuk, June 2018, The municipality workers pick up the bodies of “stray dogs”. Photo: Municipality Communication

Karwan Salhi – Kirkuk

A campaign to eradicate stray dogs was launched 18 months ago in the Kirkuk city, and more than three thousand dogs have been killed since then.

The campaign, which caused discontent among some people, is an ordinary endeavour for the authorities, conducted through their legal remit. They believe it benefits the health of people and thus continues.

The manager of Veterinary Hospital of Kirkuk Nabil Rashid discussed the legal support for killing stray dogs, “Our work plan consisted of two ways: in the first phase, we receive a complaint from a civilian, say they give us the address of an alley, or a mosque, where a stray dog causes problem and people cannot come and go with ease.”

Later, he explained, the relevant institutions will be informed of the problem.

Relevant institutions should have another way to eradicate them, or could establish a park for them

The second way to eradicate stray dogs is to determine their location by the independent committees which are appointed to the job, without people’s complaints.

The Animal Health bill of 2013 permits the formation of a committee in each province to eradicate stray dogs with the cooperation of the security forces.

Kirkuk Municipality Facebook page published a number of photos recently, where their workers pick up the bodies of killed dogs. The move created a lot of anger and discontent when KirkukNow published the development.

Kirkuk, June 2018, Killing dogs in the city. Photo: Municipality Communication

Kirkuk, June 2018, Killing dogs in the city. Photo: Municipality Communication

Rights activist and lawyer Hazhar Kakaiyi told KirkukNow, “Iraqi government or relevant institutions like vet hospitals should have another way to eradicate them or could establish a park for them to settle, or they should be moved outside of the city’s environs and free them.”

2,700 stray dogs were killed in Kirkuk last year, according to the statistics of Kirkuk Veterinary Hospital.

The same statistics notes that another 328 dogs have been killed in the first five months of 2017, while 140 more are expected to be killed in June.

Rashid said Iraq has no animal zoos or parks so they can settle such animals, and as executives, they only implement the law.

The bodies are collected by the municipality workers, as they move them to be burnt in a special lab of the municipality.

Director of Kirkuk Municipality Sardar Hasan told KirkukNow, “The Vet hospital supervises the committee. We only have a representative in the committee. However, when we published the photos on our page, people accused us.”

The comments on their Facebook page concerning the stray dogs were scathy criticism of the campaign, and to Kirkuk authorities. Some were asking for better treatment of animals, through finding better options to free the streets and public places from them.

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