Uzbek and foreign animal lovers alike have been enraged to find out that city officials in Samarkand,had initiated a campaign to poison street dogs and cats in order to make the city more "pleasant for visitors" at a music festival. A local news outlet, Repost.uz, posted a video on social media that showed a man leaving what appears to be poisoned bait out for the city's animals. What's worse is that he was leaving the poisoned bits near people's homes. That means, not just strays but neighborhood pets could easily fall victim to this cruel plot.
Fighting back against accusations of the widespread animal cruelty, the Samarkand Mayor's Office says the city had initiated a rabies vaccine program, but one of their employees had "gone rogue" and started poisoning animals. The explanation is laughable, and it hasn't quelled the public anger — especially because sick and dead animals are popping up all over the city. Even children are turning up ill after supposedly coming into contact with these "vaccines."
This isn't the first time governments have initiated these types of mass poisoning campaigns against stray animals. Both Russia and Turkmenistan have also raised the ire of the international community in recent years for similar culls. These animal control methods are inhumane and ineffective. If they want to get to the root of the problem they must institute spay and neuter programs not kill operations.