Officials in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir have poisoned hundreds of dogs and aim to kill all 100,000 strays in the main city, Srinagar, saying the animals pose a risk and make urban life unbearable.
Animal rights activists vowed to go to court, saying the poisoning was cruel and the problem could be addressed in other ways.
"These dogs . . . are threatening humans," said Dr. Riyaz Ahmad, the Srinagar health officer. One government worker said his son was afraid to leave the house.
Officials have cited a rabies threat, but Ahmad acknowledged that with two deaths from 1,341 dog bites reported in Srinagar last year, it was more about appeasing the public.
India has the world's highest rabies fatality rate.