Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 11:39 UK

'Dumped' dogs turn to cannibalism

A dog eats the remains of another dog on the Malaysian island of Pulau Selat Kering (Malaysian SPCA handout)
Efforts to rescue the dogs have been hampered by the thick mangroves

More than 300 stray dogs in Malaysia that were dumped on uninhabited islands turned to cannibalism after weeks of starvation, welfare activists said.

The dogs were rounded up by villagers last month and cast away on two islands off Malaysia's western Selangor state.

The case has caused outrage after activists released images showing dogs eating the carcasses of other dogs.

The villagers said they believed the dogs would be able to survive by living off the deserted islands' wildlife.

Villagers in Pulau Ketam said the increasing stray dog population there had led to problems with dogs fouling the streets and sometimes biting children.

A team from the Selangor Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has gone to one of the islands to try to rescue the dogs for rehabilitation.

Efforts have been hampered by the thick mangroves, the SPCA said.

They estimate that 200 dogs may have survived. Once the animals are healthy enough, they will be neutered and re-homed or relocated.

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