Bushehr municipality paid millions of tomans to have stray dogs killed while informing the public that they were being kept alive, a local newspaper has revealed.

In early February, Bamdad Jonub newspaper, part of the Bamdadnews group, reported that Bushehr municipal employees were financially benefiting from a policy designed to tackle the city’s stray dog population.

“A senior employee at a waste collection company was hired under the pretence of catching stray dogs alive,” Bamdad Jonub reported. “But instead, he received millions of tomans (at least $350) to destroy the dogs with a shotgun. He then left the corpses at a dump site in Tangak.”

“The illegal killing of stray dogs has nothing to do with the welfare of citizens,” the paper said. “It is a way to make money. Those hired to kill dogs in Bushehr work for the city, receiving 25,000 tomans (about $10) for every dog that they kill. The figure has raised to 50,000 this year.”

The newspaper also claimed that employees may have taken kickbacks for disposing of a greater number of dogs than actually existed. “According to our documents, which are kept in the newspaper’s office, 1,500 dogs have been killed so far. But the figure can’t be correct — according to the city of Bushehr’s official statistics, there aren’t that many stray dogs here.”

Bamdad Jonub points out that it is illegal to pay public employees to implement policies that have not gone through the proper channels that set out government initiatives. The report also revealed that one of the people receiving financial gains from this unsanctioned measure was actually in a senior position, and therefore should have prevented it from taking place. “It is significant,” the paper says, “that the employee responsible for killing the dogs was in a supervisory role.” The public, it reported, was misled, and not supplied with the details of how the city was disposing of stray dogs.

Bamdad Jonub reporter Fariba Karimi said the dogs were taken to the outskirts of Bushehr and shot. “We should not forget that these dogs once belonged to people in the city, who abandoned them, leaving them to  fend for themselves in derelict parts of the city, where they reproduced. If the city carried out its work properly, there would be very few stray dogs, there would be no need for shotguns, and our city would be peaceful.”

Bamdad Jonub appealed to Bushehr municipality “to stop the improper cruel measure of killing dogs immediately.”


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