A Mexican border town has a big dog problem, and it’s not sure what to do about it.
The town has become so overrun with dogs, that the government began offering a tax exemption of $17 per stray that was offered for euthanasia.
That move prompted an uproar in northern Mexico after animal rights groups argued the government was barking up the wrong tree, and they demanded the town stop what they called unnecessary “dog killings.” Activists said what the government was doing qualified as “animal torture,” and they called for legislative reform.
But town officials say all they’re doing is looking out for their residents, who risk contracting diseases from packs of feral dogs that for years have been allowed to roam freely.
“I’m criticized because of my strategy to avoid diseases and epidemics,” town Mayor Manuel Baldenebro told the BBC. “I say this sincerely: I am not a dog killer.”
He said stray dogs have attacked over 2,000 people the past year, mostly children and senior citizens.
The past two years, according to the BBC, 17,000 stray dogs were killed, though only 450 were turned in for the tax .
Animal rights groups say the town should focus on neutering the animals, rather than killing them.
"It is absurd, totally reprehensible," activist Maya Anthemius told the BBC.