A government official in American Samoa has dismissed claims that the Department of Agriculture is using poison to control the stray dog population.
The Samoa News reports that dog lovers have raised concerns with the method being used saying that it could harm children and families using the popular Lions Park in Tafuna village.
The Agriculture Department's Veterinarian Dr Leo Leituala told the paper that they are not using poison to catch stray dogs but a sedative called pentothal.
Dr Leituala says the sedative makes the dog sleepy and easier to catch.
Samoa News says that over a two-year period Agriculture's vet services have captured and killed closed to 1,000 stray dogs.
Cage traps, long the standard dog catching-devise used by Agriculture Department, are not so successful in capturing strays that roam the park area.