Stray dogs have been shot dead in Bozhourishte, a borough in northwestern Sofia, according to media reports.
Two men in a jeep reportedly are patrolling around Bozhourishte, shooting strays in broad daylight, witnesses have said. Many complaints have been filed to police as people fear for their own safety.
"A child could be shot accidentally," people told Nova TV.
The shootings in Bozhourishte have been going on for quite some time but police have been unable to act. But they now have the legal authority to do so ever since the Bulgarian Parliament passed the animal cruelty act.
According to eyewitnesses, both men "are believed to work for the local municipality".
The police has launched an investigation.
Similar drastic measures have also been undertaken in Romania. With up to 250 000 stray dogs in the capital of Bucharest (Sofia by comparison has only 9500 strays), the Romanian authorities have decided to take the ultimate measure to solve the problem – put them to death.
Packs of strays have been attacking residents of Bucharest for decades, with several fatalities accounted for. The latest case was a woman, mauled to death on the streets in January 2011. This caused a public outrage, the report said.
Romanian politicians have acted swiftly following the latest attack, authorising the culling of animals within 14 days of capture if unclaimed by anyone. Reportedly, "many municipalities have stocked massive quantities of poison with which to kill the animals".