PHUKET: It’s official: there will be no more killing of stray dogs in Phuket except in the case of individual animals that pose a threat to the public. The ruling came after a meeting of provincial officials and their counterparts from the Phuket Town Municipality, chaired by the Governor of Phuket, Charnchai Soontharamut. The meeting came on the heels of July’s public outcry over the Municipality’s killing of 12 stray dogs in Wat Wichit Sangkharam, and a more recent request by monks at Wat Langsarn to “remove” strays from their temple. It was agreed at the meeting that stray dogs will be sterilized and vaccinated by the Municipality, and will not be killed unless they pose a threat to the public. The decision applies across Phuket, and will be carried out by local municipal councils or the Provincial Livestock Office. “We regret the killing of stray dogs at the Wat,” K. Charnchai told the Gazette. “I think the best thing we can do is to control the number of dogs by sterilization.” However, it was also decided at the meeting that neither the Province nor the Municipality would set up a dog pound. “It would cost a lot of money,” said K. Charnchai. “And so many stray dogs living together would cause problems for people living in the area. It could lead to complaints about noise, bad smells, attacks or disease,” he explained. “Also, people might wonder why the government isn’t taking care of poor people, who are more important than stray dogs.” Those wishing to report problems with stray dogs should contact their local municipality or the Provincial Livestock Office (Tel: 211929 or 216934).
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