Chandigarh : Taking cognizance of the recent sorry incidence by a pack of street dogs mauling a toddler to death in a park in sector 18, a delegation of the Government Houses Resident Welfare Society, Sector 22 (GH22-RWS) met Shri KK Yadav, Commissioner MCC and handed over a memorandum including viable suggestions which should immediately be implemented in order to curb stray dogs menace being faced by the residents.
“It seems UT is not following the “Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001” in letter and spirit and lack of seriousness in implementation of the same has led to recent loss of human life”, said Vinod Vashisht, President of the GH22RWS. We have gone through the ABC (Dogs) Rules 2001 and Guidelines issued by Animal Welfare Board of India before giving workable and viable suggestions to MCC.
The society put forth the following facts:
· According to UT animal husbandry dept’s survey there were around 8000 stray dogs in the city in 2012 and the number has gone beyond 13,000 in 2018 as per the rough estimates, meaning a 10.4% population growth rate for these canines which happens to be almost 10 times of human population growth rate of the country. It is clear indicator that sterilization measures taken under Animal Birth Control have not been sufficient so far.
· As per the information received by us, it costs MCC meager rupees 789/- per dog sterilization, so any budget constraints for such a life saving project is not understandable.
· As per the ABC (Dogs) Rules, 2001 which are also upheld by apex court of the country, under Rule 6 enlisting ‘Obligations of the local authority’ the very first obligation calls for establishment of dog pounds or shelters. But, it is surprising none such dog pound exists in Chandigarh.
· Rule 8 provides for easy identification of sterilized dogs from the ones not sterilized or immunized. All recommended measures as per the rule are not being followed in the city.
· Release of dogs to back to the same place after sterilization from where they were captured is not a blanket rule but is to be followed as per advice of the treating doctor. Meaning thereby, if the treating veterinarian opines that a sterilized dog is to be isolated to a dog kennel or dog pound, he/she is allowed to do so. But, this option does not exist there in Chandigarh due to absence of such a dog pound.
· Absence of clear compensation policy to victims of Street Dogs.
· Lack of awareness and public participation in street dogs’ sterilization programmes.
And, suggested following action points to MCC:
· Immediate establishment of a Dog Pound/Dog Kennel.
· Buying an insurance policy to help/compensate dog bite victims. (Rs 3 lac compensation for loss of life is not sufficient; now it has happened to a child, tomorrow it could be a dependent sick person, a senior citizen or a handicapped on a wheel chair or ..)
· Starting use of ‘Nyon Collars’ for the sterilized dogs as per the ABC Rules making easier identification by the alert public. (presently concerned department is putting ‘vee notch cut’ in one of the ears of the sterilized dogs)
· Carrying of periodic street dogs sterilization drives over the year (knowing an average dog attains puberty at the age of 8 months to 1 year).
· Bringing sterilization of a street dog requisition by general public under MCC Citizen Charter so that time bound action is there.
· Involvement of RWAs in effective implementation of the programmes.
We have also assured to the Commissioner to make aware 100 plus RWAs through digital networking, for participating and helping MCC Sterilization Programmes and educate street dog feeders as per the Pet Dogs and Street Dogs Circular issued by Animal Welfare Board of India, remarked Vashisht.
Amrik Singh, Sushil Malhotra, Gianender Ahlawat, Amandeep Goyal, Harminder Singh and Kamlesh Kumar accompanied Vashisht in the delegation.
One can call MCC Help-line at 155304 to register complaint relating to street dogs.