August 20, 2018 | ° F

Use humane animal control methods

Let us pose a scenario: You are a public official in a city with a fairly large stray dog population — estimated at about, say, 10,000. Unfortunately, the said city — like almost every city — is suffering from serious budget constraints, which are preventing the building of a shelter for these dogs. What, then, do you do? According to officials in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, who are actually facing this very problem, the answer is simple —shoot all 10,000 dogs. Bishkek is in an unfortunate position but couldn't officials find a better way to deal with the stray dog population than rounding all of them up and shooting them? According to the Huffington Post, the Bishkek city hall spokesman Pavel Klimenko is asking the world to not perceive the act as barbaric. Really, though, is there any other way to see it?

It is a terrible fact of life that sometimes stray animals have to be euthanized. Often there is no other way to deal with the animal population in a given area. But there are far more humane ways to euthanize animals than opening fire on them. Shooting the stray dog population is a violent, almost brutal solution to Bishkek's conundrum. We refuse to believe that it is the only possible way to resolve the current situation.

Klimenko has stated that the dogs would be killed during mornings and evenings by a 10-person team appointed with the task of rounding up and shooting the animals. Even if the government has decided to schedule the killings so that they occur a little out of sight from the general population, the fact remains that these killings are happening. It is almost as if the Bishkek officials have declared hunting season on stray dogs, which only adds to the gruesomeness of the situation.

The story in Bishkek also stands as yet another very bleak reminder of what budget constraints can drive governments to resort to. We are sure that the Bishkek government does not want to resort to shooting stray dogs, as evidenced by Klimenko's avid protestations against the negative light that this measure will cast on the city. But because of an egregious lack of funding, the government in Bishkek has found itself in a difficult position, one in which the only solutions seem to be unpopular ones. We definitely commiserate with the Bishkek officials who found themselves faced with the difficult decision to euthanize 10,000 dogs — but we still firmly condemn their chosen method of execution.

The Daily Targum

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