Feral dogs mauled a child in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district on Sunday, the seventh fatal attack this month, reported PTI. With this, a total of 13 people have been killed in such attacks in the last six months, the police said.

Reena, 12, was attacked by a pack of seven dogs when she was going to the fields alone in Maheshpur Chilwara village around 7 am, District Magistrate Sheetal Verma told the Hindustan Times. “The girl died on the spot,” said Verma. “I have asked the senior administrative officials to visit the village and meet the girl’s family.”

Reena’s father Chhanga said he would not perform her last rites till the district administration assures the people that it would take effective steps to curb the menace. Later, 300 villagers blocked traffic on the national highway for half-an-hour to demand action.

Superintendent of Police Anand Kulkarni said the administration was tackling the menace and the number of dogs in packs was decreasing. “Earlier they used to attack in pack of six to eight dogs. Now they are reduced to two or four,” he told PTI. Last week, the police deployed drones and night-vision devices to trap the dogs.

On May 5, a 10-year-old boy was killed and one child was injured in separate incidents. This was a day after dogs killed two children and wounded as many. The dogs had mauled three children to death in Khairabad area on May 1.

Experts believe shortage of food after the crackdown on illegal abattoirs may be a reason for the aggression among dogs. “Earlier when the abattoirs were operational, the dogs used to get food in form of leftovers,” said RK Singh, the director of Indian Veterinary Research Institute. “But, with the closure of the abattoirs, there was a shortage of food for the dogs.”