Sri Lanka has lifted a moratorium on killing stray dogs as the government attempts to cut down on the 2,000 people that are hospitalised every day after being bitten, a media report said on Saturday.
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena told the Private television network that the government had decided to revert back to destroying strays, a practice suspended five years ago, because of rabies concerns.
'Clearly our new policy has failed... ,' Mr. Sirisena told the privately run network. 'As a government, we have decided to go back to the previous practice.' Sri Lankan law allows the authorities to catch and kill stray animals, but a presidential order suspended the practice in 2006 following lobbying by animal rights groups.
But the health minister said stray dog populations had rapidly increased, to three million in recent years, and had become a major public health issue in an island of 20 million people. (Source: AFP)