Animal Rights activists are urging city officials in Karachi, Pakistan to find a new way to deal with its massive stray dog problem.
The city launched a campaign to eliminate stray dogs by poisoning them after their numbers increased at an alarming rate- putting citizens at risk of contracting rabies. Officials say around 150,000 people in Pakistan were bitten by stray dogs last year and between 15 and 20 percent contracted the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, "more than 3 billion people, about half the world's population, are living in countries/territories where dog rabies still exists and are potentially exposed to rabies."
NBC News reports Karachi officials have attempted to deal with the city's stray dog problem in numerous ways — including shipping them to an uninhabited island and even offering citizens rewards to shoot them.
Reader discretion is advised after slide 3.
Pakistan stray dogs
Activists criticize Pakistan's mass killing of stray dogs
An Afghan refugee man reaches to pet a sleeping stray dog in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the U.N. refugee agency, thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Stray dogs enjoy at a picnic point at Ravi river in Lahore on October 7, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
A Pakistani Christian girl runs after a stray dog in an alley of a Christian neighborhood in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Pakistani commuters drive past a pile of dog carcasses at the road side in Karachi on May 12, 2015. The city municipality has launched a campaign to eliminate stray dogs whose numbers are increasing alarmingly. AFP PHOTO / Rizwan TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani municipal workers prepare to dispose of a pile of dog carcasses in a suburb of Karachi on February 11, 2015. The city municipality has launched a campaign to eliminate stray dogs whose numbers are increasing alarmingly. AFP PHOTO / Rizwan TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Animal rights activists have started a petition addressing the "government of Pakistan" calling the culling campaign inhumane. It points out that the WHO doesn't recommend culling to combat rabies and that it suggests a mass vaccination program instead.
Some have defended the campaign, pointing out that vaccinating and sterilizing so many stray dogs is simply too expensive.
Others have taken to Twitter to criticize the Karachi government.