Policeman Kills More Than 600 Dogs in Kurdistan

dog_559573150.jpg By RAWA ABDULLA
 An Iraqi dog next to an American soldier in Baghdad, December 2007. —— Photo by Seth Robins/SOLDIERS’ ANGELS GERMANY Blogon from
ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan: For being allegedly infected with rabies and other diseases, hundreds of dogs have been killed by a policeman ordered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) here in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, a federal region in Iraq.

“Wherever I am ordered to kill a dog, I will do it,” said Mohammed Ali, the only policeman tasked with killing dogs in the city, had killed 668 dogs the previous seven months. “By doing so, I will save people’s lives.”

The KRG’s Ministry of Health says that the wild dogs infected with rabies and other forms of diseases are too difficult to be treated here in Kurdistan.

“It is not easy to treat the wild dogs. They are uncontrollable,” said Dr. Mamand Muhammad, Director of the Erbil Veterinary Office. “When they have rabies, atopy and other syndromes, and harass people, we will be obliged to allow their killings.”

However, Muhammad admits that what they are doing to dogs is inhuman and can cause them problems if the international animal advocacy organizations find out.

“We have no any other solution to protect the lives of our people,” he said.

Ali, 46, has been killing dogs since 11 years ago. He says he uses a gunshot to end the lives of the dogs.

“Some people thank me, and some others swear against me,” said Ali. “But I don’t listen to any of them. I am just a policeman practicing my own duty.”

According to Rudaw’s information, killing dogs is common in other cities of Iraq and Kurdistan.

Despite approving of the decision to haunt infected dogs, director of the Erbil Municipality Police, Captain Fakhraddin Nuri considers the way dogs killed in Kurdistan “wrong.”

“According to the trainings I have attended, there is no really any other country to eradicate infected dogs like this,” said Nuri.

“Given Turkey, for instance, such dogs are fainted and taken to a special hospital for treatment after their wombs are deducted.”

Recently in Ankawa, a mainly Christina neighborhood in Erbil, Ali killed 50 dogs after the residents had filed complaints about the dogs to the government.

There are more than 1,200 million dogs in Iraq. Recently, 500 dogs were killed only in Baghdad, according Iraq’s Ministry of Interior.

The KRG says it has a team to treat domestic dogs. Though many people refuse to take their dogs for treatment.