An animal rights organization has accused a Oaxaca municipality of spreading a poison to kill street dogs.
Twenty-four dogs in San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula have allegedly been killed by authorities intent on cleaning up the streets in preparation for an annual festival.
Hilda Toledo, president of the animal rights group APAOAX, said her organization learned of the poisoning from residents who had lost their own dogs as a result of it.
They claim that a municipal police vehicle went through the streets spreading a poison on February 24.
Toledo said it was not only an act of “cruelty to animals” but a crime threatening the health of residents and one of environmental pollution because the bodies of the dead dogs were disposed of in the community’s open-air garbage dump.
It is not the first time APAOAX has protested such an action. Toledo said they have argued for sterilization campaigns instead, which the organization itself runs, but poisoning animals remains a common practice in dozens of municipalities and communities in the state, particularly before annual festivals.
Toledo said she tried unsuccessfully to communicate with local authorities and has launched complaints with the state Health Secretariat and Attorney General but she said neither had replied.
She also accused state Deputies of indifference over the Animal Protection Law that went into effect last September. It calls for jail terms of six months to five years along with fines for intentionally killing an animal.
Toledo said the law contained loopholes that granted impunity to those who broke it.
Teposcolula is situated in the center of the Mixteca region in the northwestern area of Oaxaca.