CHENNAI (Web Desk) – At least 50 community dogs were burned alive in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, before they were sedated with food laced with pesticides.

Police said a few villagers killed the dogs on June 5 at Keezhamur village near Melmaruvathur, about 50km from Chennai, after they had allegedly attacked herds of sheep and goat.

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P Aswath, an animal activist, filed a complaint with the Melmaruvathur police who booked Murali, Muthu, Murugadoss and Jeeva of the village in this connection, the Times of India reported on Wednesday.

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Police said the villagers claimed a few community dogs injured a few sheep and goats when they were grazing. Some of the injured cattle died of dog bites later.

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However, Aswath told Times of Inida there were no traces of sheep and goat maimed or injured in a dog attack. “When I approached the village panchayat president and vice-president, they denied the killings,” he said. “But I have evidence to prove that more than 50 dogs were killed in the village.”