One hundred and fifty stray dogs were poisoned to death and buried in Belagutti village in Karnataka’s Davanagere district on Saturday, The New Indian Express reported.
After Bengaluru animal welfare organisation Compassion Unlimited Plus Action took up the matter, the local police filed a First Information Report against the Belagutti Gram Panchayat in Davanagere district on Monday for reportedly killing the dogs. Villagers said that the panchayat paid Rs 150 for each dog that was killed.
Harish KB, an officer working with the organisation said that a video on social media showed a few stray dogs dying after they were injected with a toxic substance. The video shows a stray wagging his tail at his killer even as he is injected, Harish said, adding that it was cruel beyond comparison.
“The dogs were just piled up, they were not even buried properly,” Harish said. “Most of them have decomposed due to the poison and only about 80 carcasses could be taken out [to conduct a] postmortem. The panchayat has done this in an attempt to get rid of strays in the area.”
Citing sources, the report said that gram panchayat was under a lot of pressure to resolve the matter as there had been a recent increase in stray dogs attacking people and cattle at nights.
Hanmanthappa, a sub-inspector at the Nyamathi police station, admitted to the culling, and said that there had been several outbreaks of rabies in the village. “We had four-five dog bite and rabies cases. The elected members of the gram panchayat decided to cull all the strays in the village,” he said.
The police have registered a case under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and Sections 428 and 429 under the Indian Penal Code, The Quint reported. “Under the [Indian Penal Code] sections, if the crime is proven, the punishment could be two years of imprisonment to life imprisonment,” a police officer was quoted as saying.