Killing dogs thought to be harmful

Fatwa no. 16286 Praise be to Allah Alone. May peace and blessings be upon His Last Prophet.The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' has reviewed the question referred to His Eminence, the Grand Mufty (Islamic scholar qualified to issue legal opinions) from His Eminence, the Judge of the Court of Tabarjal (no. 1962), dated (27/12/1412) A.H. and referred to the Committee from the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars, (no. 134) and dated (13/1/1413) A.H, and enclosed is a question presented from the Head of the Municipality of Tabarjal. It reads as follows:The Municipality has recently started a campaign of Killing stray dogs, that brought harmful effects to humans and other animals as well. At first, the efforts were directed to killing dangerous dogs by distributing poisoned meat in the places in which dogs usually exist. However, there are other harmless animals (Part No. 26; Page No. 200) that usually exist in the same places. They are badly affected by the toxicants that seem to kill all animals around it, due to the difficulty of discriminating between which animals are dangerous and which are not.For this reason, we hope that Your Eminence will give us the legal ruling in this regard. Is it permissible for us to kill the dangerous dogs in the way mentioned? Your answer would considerably determine how these campaigns of Killing stray dogs, would be conducted.May Allah guide you to what He likes and what He pleases. Peace be upon you.The letter was returned to His Eminence, the Judge, (no. 2/198), dated (20/1/1413) A.H. to form a committee including representatives from the specialists and trustworthy people who will be chosen by the Judge in order to discern the truth and determine to what degree such animals are dangerous to identify the harm permitting to kill them. This should all be clarified in a detailed report. The answer was provided in the letter (no. 973), dated (17/4/1413) A.H. and enclosed is the report of the committee which reads:We would like to inform Your Eminence that the issue in question has been thoroughly examined. It turned out to us through what we saw and heard from some people that such dogs exist in different places and cause many harms as follows:1. Some dogs eat domestic animals raised by citizens in their homes although they are placed in fenced yards.2. These harmful dogs also frighten children, especially at night and upon going to `Isha' (Night) and Fajr (Dawn) Prayers. They also annoy old people. (Part No. 26; Page No. 201) 3. These dogs might catch rabies and then attack people and animals as has been noticed in past years.4. As for what we mentioned, it is reported in general terms. As for what His Eminence, the President, mentioned regarding the inability to distinguish between the harmful dogs and those that are not, this is determined by the people who report the danger of such dogs.I hope that Your Eminence will attend to this issue and advise us what to do. May Allah grant us success.

Examining the question in issue, the Committee answered as follows: 1. The dogs that are not harmful should not be killed or harmed.2. As for the malicious fierce dogs that may bite other animals, or that have rabies and then impart fear and panic, there is nothing wrong with killing them in a way that does not involve harming other animals. It is authentically narrated on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Five kinds of animals should be killed even in the precincts of Ka`bah or in the state of Ihram: They are the crow, the kite, the scorpion, the mouse, and the dog known for biting people. (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.