By The Nation
The Phuket-based Soi Dog Foundation also called for an end to similar acts of cruelty.
A video showing dogs being poisoned has gone viral on Facebook, with more than a million views.
Soi Dog noted that poisoning is a slow and cruelly painful death. It is also unnecessary, said the group, noting figures indicating that there is no rabies epidemic in Thailand.
The foundation helps stray dogs and cats in Phuket province and other parts of Thailand.
It alleged that there appears to be a deliberate campaign by some people to whip up a mass killing of the estimated 8 million stray dogs across the country.
The foundation called on the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) to publicly state that no more dogs will be randomly killed. Dogs in areas where rabies is believed to exist should be vaccinated, sterilised and placed in quarantine, the foundation said in a press statement on Friday.
Once cleared of having the disease the animals should then be returned to build up the "herd immunity" to the disease in their territory.
There should be no repeat of last year’s actions in Pranburi, the foundation said. In that case, the dogs were impounded permanently in a large dog shelter in Buri Ram. This allowed other, unvaccinated dogs, to remain on the streets without herd immunity.
Removing vaccinated and sterilised dogs – which the group charges appears to be happening now in Hua Hin – is a counter-productive practice. It will encourage the spread of rabies as other, unvaccinated, dogs take over the area, said the foundation.
The removal of vaccinated dogs only fuels speculation that the vaccination campaign has nothing to do with rabies control but is instead an ongoing policy to stamp out stray dogs, the foundation said in the release.
No dog should be euthanised unless tests show that it is infected, said the group, and euthanasia should be humanely administered. Poisoning is not a humane approach, Soi Dog said.