Turkmen Dogcatchers Assigned To Kill ‘Seven Stray Dogs A Day’


TURKMENABAT, Turkmenistan — Canine catchers in Turkmenabat have been assigned to catch and kill a minimum of seven stray canines day by day, locals say, as authorities in Turkmenistan’s second-biggest metropolis proceed a brutal marketing campaign of animal cruelty.

There should not many stray canines or cats left on the streets of Turkmenabat, and people charged with exterminating them typically take away individuals’s pets to succeed in their day by day goal, a number of canine house owners have complained.

In a single infamous case, the canine catchers took away a canine that was tied up outdoors a grocery store whereas the proprietor was shopping for groceries, residents instructed RFE/RL.

The authoritarian Central Asian state has lengthy been criticized for the systematic slaughter of stray animals utilizing barbaric strategies.

In Turkmenabat, a metropolis of some 250,000, every housing-management firm is liable for hiring individuals to hold out canine and cat culling drives in its neighborhood.

One such firm within the metropolis’s Khimki district was just lately named as essentially the most profitable in exterminating stray animals, RFE/RL correspondents reported, citing officers and residents.

However a number of the canines caught in Khimki final week turned out to be pet canines.

Outraged canine house owners demanded that the administration firm return their pets, solely to seek out out they’d already been destroyed, locals instructed RFE/RL.

Merciless Strategies

Turkmenabat residents additionally accuse the canine catchers of utilizing brutal strategies to catch animals and preserving them in appalling situations.

A graphic video of a purported dog-catching sweep in Turkmenabat exhibits three animal-control officers beating two screaming canines with a rod earlier than throwing them into the again of a rubbish truck.

One other ugly video — additionally despatched from Turkmenabat — purports to point out the corpses of animals inside soiled cages in dilapidated, dungeon-like premises.

A captured stray canine in a cage in Ashgabat.

A number of residents instructed RFE/RL that everybody privately condemns how the sweeps are being carried out, however they’re too afraid to publicly criticize or argue with housing-management firms, as they rely on housing managers to get certificates that allow them to obtain backed meals in authorities shops.

Backed meals is a lifeline for many individuals in Turkmenistan, which has been stricken by continual meals shortages and worth hikes for a minimum of 5 years. The certificates that point out every particular person’s tackle and the variety of individuals residing in a family have to be up to date every month.

Mockingly, the newest sweep in Turkmenabat got here as the federal government adopted a new legislation on July 25 that bans cruelty in opposition to animals.

The legislation — which was handed shortly after RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service revealed studies on the nation’s merciless methods of coping with strays — bans inflicting accidents or different severe hurt to canines or depriving them of meals, water, sleep, relaxation, or train.

It additionally prohibits using strategies that trigger canines “pointless struggling when catching or regulating the quantity” of strays.

Activists dubbed the legislation “hypocritical” contemplating what has been practiced, and stated it’s unlikely that Turkmen authorities will adjust to it anytime quickly.

Turkmenistan has been criticized for its long-standing observe of exterminating canines and cats by poisoning them, beating them to dying, ravenous them to dying, or killing them by refusing to present them water.

Municipal authorities usually bribe native youngsters to present poisoned sausages or bread to stray canines and cats to kill them, animal rights defenders stated.

Canine catchers routinely beat strays to the brink of dying on the streets.

In a single incident in Ashgabat, eyewitnesses instructed RFE/RL that an animal management officer was seen beating a canine and her puppies with a rod in entrance of youngsters at a kindergarten.

Authorities have by no means publicly addressed the widespread criticism of the nation’s cruelty towards canines and cats of their nation.

The desert nation takes satisfaction of their native canine breed, the Alabai, that are dubbed “wolf crushers” for his or her ferocity and formally listed as a part of Turkmenistan’s nationwide heritage.

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhamedov with one of the Central Asian country's iconic alabai dogs. (file photo)

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhamedov with one of many Central Asian nation’s iconic alabai canines. (file picture)

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov and his predecessor (and father), Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, have been usually photographed with canines and horses.

The previous president has devoted a e-book to alabais and declared the final Sunday of April to be Alabai Day in honor of the celebrated breed.

There may be additionally a 6-meter-high golden statue of an Alabai — Turkmenistan’s dearest canine — in a central sq. within the capital, Ashgabat.

Written by Farangis Najibullah primarily based on reporting by RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondents in Turkmenistan.

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