Mystery over “mass dog poisonings’ in Patong

PATONG: Residents here are insisting that “up to 100 local dogs” have been poisoned in the middle of the night by people driving around in a Patong Municipality garbage truck.

But Patong Deputy Mayor Chairat Sukbal vehemently denies that the cull has anything to do with the municipality.

Prasert Moonlad, a resident of Nanai Rd in Patong, told the Gazette, “My three dogs died on Nanai Rd. I saw a yellow municipal truck come by and they loaded the dogs onto the truck at around 4 or 5 am. I also saw other dogs dead by the roadside in early January.”

He added, “Our dogs were not strays – they wore collars.”

A volunteer who helps feed stray dogs in Patong said, “Recently, some of [the dogs I feed] were poisoned on Soi Nam Sia. Several people saw the Tessabaan doing this. I have also been informed by friends that this has happened in many other places in Patong as well.”

She continued, “Why do the authorities say they are not going to kill stray dogs but sterilize them instead, and then sneak around at 5 am poisoning them?

“My friend lost two of his dogs to this recent poisoning – they were not even stray dogs.”

However, Deputy Mayor Chairat said, “The Municipality has no policy to kill or poison dogs. It’s possible that they were poisoned by local people as they may have been bothering the residents.”

As to the accusations that a municipal garbage truck was involved, he replied, “Our staff’s responsibility is to collect garbage. They don’t have time to poison dogs.”

He added that he believed the number of dogs that have died was overstated. “It is an exaggeration to claim that 100 dogs have died. That would mean that we’d have to have a very large truck to load them all into.

“I stress again that the Municipality has no policy to poison or to kill dogs.” He said that it was possible that the garbage workers had been picking up dead dogs and residents had jumped to the conclusion that the garbage workers were also doing the poisoning.

He added, “We act in co-operation with Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) and some dog foundations such as the Soi Dog Foundation to round up and sterilize dogs in the area.”

PPLO chief Sunart Wongchawalit told the Gazette that it is provincial policy not to poison dogs, which was why the PPLO had established its dog pound in Thalang.

He said, “Tambons and municipalities do have the authority to poison dogs but [whether they do so] depends on each [organization’s] policy.”

Meanwhile, in the Layan area, some 30 dogs were poisoned recently. Local people told the Gazette that the finger of suspicion pointed toward a goat farmer, but there was not enough evidence to do anything about it.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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