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Neglect on part of Municipal Corporation of Bareilly, disrupts human-dog harmony in the district

Neglect on part of Municipal Corporation of Bareilly, disrupts human-dog harmony in the district

Another case of pure negligence by the municipal corporation of Bareilly district has led to a human-dog conflict in the city. The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO) has asked the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Bareilly to look into the matter and implement a large-scale Animal Birth Control programme to provide a long-term solution that ensures human and animal welfare instead of resorting to short-term, ineffective and illegal methods that displace or destroy dogs.

A rigorous Animal Birth Control programme is the only scientific and successful method of resolving the human-animal conflict and prevent dog bites and rabies. Under this programme, street dogs must be caught, surgically made sterile and then left at their original territories after being administered a preventive shot of rabies. In fact, there are many success stories of the impact of this program; especially in the cities like Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai

In case of Bareilly, the ABC programme currently undertaken by the Municipal Corporation is inadequately small and thus completely ineffective. Research shows that at least 70% of the dogs need to be sterilised for the programme to have an impact, whereas the current coverage of the AMC is nowhere near that. In a recent order Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, it has been held that, "it is suffice to say that all the State municipal corporations, municipal committees, district boards and local bodies shall be guided by the Act and the Rules and it is the duty and obligation of the Animal Welfare Board to see that they are followed with all seriousness. It is also the duty of all the municipal corporations to provide infrastructure as mandated in the statute and the rules."
It was further observed that, "no innovative method or subterfuge should be adopted not to carry out the responsibility under the 1960 Act or the 2001 Rules. Any kind of laxity while carrying out statutory obligations is not countenanced in law." Relocation of dogs is not only illegal, but also causes a dog- vacuum in that location which gives way to the untreated non vaccinated dogs who are not familiar with the locality and often bark at the people crossing by to mark and claim their new territory. It also inhibits from keeping a check on the number of sterilized dog count in the city. Animal Birth Control (dogs), 2001, prohibits the relocation of these animals after treatment.

Varda Mehrotra, Director, FIAPO said "In Bareilly, we were sitting on a live volcano that was waiting to erupt. On May 19th, 2016, we had written to then District Magistrate, Mr. Gaurav Dayal, informing him about the situation at hand and urging him to ensure that human-dog conflict does not arise. Unfortunately, our fears have become a reality in the district. We have always stated that the only way to reduce incidents of dog-bites and rabies is large scale and consistent Animal Birth Control programmes."

"Animal Birth Control Rules obligates the local authority to conduct sterilization and immunization as a method to control street dogs and if the Municipal Corporation was indeed concerned about the increased dog-bites, it should have immediately provide adequate infrastructure and set-up a large-scale ABC programme. Regretfully that has not happened till now. We urge the Divisional Magistrate, Mr. Apoorva Dubey to look into the matter and ensure immediate and effective Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme in the district along with proper Anti Rabies Vaccination (ARV) drives so that there are no conflicts in the future", Ms. Mehrotra added.

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