Australian Local Govt Shoots Dogs at Pound to Stop Rescuers Collecting Them During Covid

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Local government officials in Australia had dogs due to be rescued from a council pound shot dead, to stop shelter workers from going to pick them up during Covid.

Bourke Shire Council in the state of New South Wales — currently subject to draconian lockdown measures — euthanised the dogs by shooting them dead over concerns that rescuers from the Rural Outback Respite/Rescue shelter in the neighbouring shire of Cobar might expose them to infection during the planned handover, according to the Office of Local Government (OLG).

“OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” an OLG spokesman confirmed in comments quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The move has horrified lockdown sceptics and dog lovers alike, particularly given New South Wales Health has reported “no recent locally acquired COVID-19 cases” in Cobar, and the fact that the executed dogs included a “mother dog and her puppies”, according to Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst.

“We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject [the] council’s unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID- safe plan,” commented Lisa Ryan, a regional spokeswoman for the Animal Liberation campaign.

Australia’s Greens picked up the government for its failure to act on the situation, with party spokeswoman on animal welfare Abigail Boyd saying: “While the Liberal-National government twiddles its thumbs on animal welfare issues, more animals are being killed.”

“Council pounds are paid for by local communities, and it is clear that shooting lost and unclaimed dogs housed in these publicly-funded facilities falls far short of community expectations,” she added.

British comic Ricky Gervais, who has been outspoken on animal rights, was rather more blunt, denouncing the officials responsible for the euthanisations as “Stupid C****” on social media.

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