VILLUPURAM: Animal welfare activists on Thursday pulled out carcasses of 18 dogs that were allegedly poisoned and buried at the seashore near Marakkanam by town panchayat workers. Activists from the Blue Cross said nearly 400 canines were killed and buried at several spots along the shore.
A six-member team from Blue Cross, led by the organisation’s general manager, Dawn Williams, arrived in Marakkanam on Thursday morning after receiving a complaint from social activist Saeed Hameed, who said stray dogs, caught from different parts of the area, had been killed by panchayat workers and buried at the shore.
“The town panchayat workers had caught the stray dogs last week. They told me that the canines were being taken for vaccination and would be released later. But even after one week, I was not able to locate any of the dogs,” Saeed told Express. He later learned from a source in the panchayat office that the dogs had been killed with injections of cyanide and buried at nine places on the seashore in Theerthavari near Konavayankuppam fishing village.
“We have lodged a complaint with the Marakkanam police. After conducting an autopsy, police will decide on further action,” Williams said, adding, “The district administration will have to take immediate action and dispose of the carcasses properly. If they start decomposing in the open, people living near the shore will be affected.” Denying the allegations, an official from Marakkanam town panchayat said they had caught 53 dogs last Friday and released them after vaccination. The dogs may have been killed by the gypsies, he added.