Target: Head of Provincial Animal Husbandry Department of Bali Putu Sumantra
Goal: Urge Bali authorities to stop the mass killing of dogs as a way of controlling rabies.
Bali’s government has been euthanizing so many dogs that their bodies are piling up on Bali streets. This is in response to the recent rabies outbreak that has killed 12 humans. In euthanizing the animals, officials are using darts full of poisons that cause slow death commonly characterized by seizures and paralysis of breathing functions.
The indiscriminate killing of these canines follows a rise in human deaths resulting from rabies. Though teams are responding with mass vaccination of the dogs, scores are being poisoned in some areas with the strychnine darts. According to reports, some photos show dogs left to die on the streets even though they have collars indicating they had been vaccinated.
The Department of Animal Husbandry in Bali has argued that the procedure is necessary because of the high number of abandoned dogs and puppies. The department seems to forget that the only way of dealing with rabies is vaccination, not culling. Vaccinating dogs against rabies is the best weapon in eradicating the problem because such dogs are in the path of the virus. The virus dies out when it cannot be transmitted to other dogs. In fact, the practice of culling can further spread the disease.
The response to control rabies began a few years ago when Bali experienced a similar outbreak. At that time, the government responded by adopting a mass-poisoning campaign that killed around 150,000 dogs. Afterwards, there was a shift from poisoning towards vaccination and sterilization, but that was reversed. Sign our petition to demand that the government of Bali return to prevention methods that do not result in the torturous deaths of many thousands of dogs.
Dear Putu Sumantra,
Dogs are being euthanized and left to die on the streets of Bali. These graphic scenes are tarnishing the island’s famous holiday image. The killing is taking place as a response strategy launched to curb an outbreak of rabies.
Bali authorities are using strychnine darts to euthanize these animals. Worse, Bali’s Department of Animal Husbandry has defended the move, claiming that poisoning was necessary due to the high numbers of abandoned dogs and puppies.
Earlier, Bali had switched to sterilization and vaccination, but that was reversed. The provincial government and local communities have yet again resorted to culling as a way of controlling rabies. Culling is cruel, unacceptable, and a misguided effort and Bali is undermining the highly successful vaccination process. Killing dogs has no effect in stopping rabies, but rather further worsens the situation. I urge you to take immediate action to stop the killings.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pitke