Gaza municipality to award NIS 10 for every stray dog killed
Attempting to combat plague of stray dogs prowling area, Beit Lahia municipality announces NIS 10 will be given to residents for each dog killed, with no limitations on number of dogs killed, methods of killing; while some comments found the campaign too cruel, others protested the idea of creating dog shelters while Gazans live in tents.
The municipality of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip inaugurated a campaign Thursday to encourage citizens to tackle the problem of multitudes of stray dogs prowling the city—offering a ten shekel award for each one killed.
The municipality put out a public announcement, which said, "Due to the proliferation of stay dogs attacking residents, children and farmers, the Beit Lahia municipality announces it will award ten shekels to any man who kills a stray dog and notifies the municipality of the deed."
Due to the precipitous economic situation in Gaza, a campaign of this nature may greatly motivate locals interested in earning a quick payoff, seeing as the purchasing power of ten shekels is much greater in Gaza than it is in Israel.
Each dog killed and brought to the municipality's center for the campaign will award its killer ten shekels, with no limits placed on the number of dogs each resident is allowed to kill. The campaign also placed no limitations on the methods used to put down the canines, with all means considered acceptable so long as the dogs are brought in dead.
Beit Lahia's campaign aroused a fair amount of criticism among Palestinians, who found it cruel and inhumane. "It's a senseless decision," a Palestinian named Mohammad Awad wrote in response. "The municipality will bear responsibility for any resident harmed by such a move. (The municipality) is the one who should be carrying this out, if stray dogs cause so much damage to residents."
"Why kill?" another resident wondered. "Animal rights should be respected. Give them food and shelter."
A commenter named Mohammad Basha wrote that he "adamantly opposed the measure. Why not create an organization whose role is caring for strays, neutering or spaying them in order to prevent them from procreating and then handing them over to anyone who wishes to raise them as pets?"
Not all voices heard in the debate were against the motion, however. One man was outraged with the responses decrying the campaign, many of which were written by residents of other Arab countries. "To all those who speak out about the need to create dog shelters, Gaza residents live in tents without a roof over their heads, but you don't shout about that. It's hypocrisy by both you and your governments!" the irate Gazan wrote.