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After protests from animal rights groups, authorities in the main city of Indian-Kashmir have canceled plans to poison nearly 100,000 stray dogs as part of an anti-rabies program, an official said yesterday.

According to an Associated Press report, local officials will work on a plan to sterilize the strays in cooperation with animal welfare groups and a team from the federal environment ministry.

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About 500 dogs had already been killed by Friday, according to Dr. Riyaz Ahmad, the Srinagar health officer who first revealed the plan to poison the city's nearly 100,000 stray dogs with strychnine.

India has the world's highest rabies fatality rate and has struggled with ways to control the millions of stray dogs that live on its streets.

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