Amritsar Municipal Corporation Unsuccessful in Implementing Laws to Prevent Dog-Bites

Delhi, 22th February 2017:In light of the recent incident at Tarn Taran district, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO) has asked the Municipal Corporation of Amritsar to 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.

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

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 “Large scale and consistent Animal Birth Control programmes are the only way to reduce incidents of dog-bites and rabies. It is the duty of the Municipal Corporations to adhere to rules of the land and only use scientific and legal methods to control dog population. The 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 is indeed concerned about the increased dog-bites, it should immediately provide adequate infrastructure and set-up a large-scale ABC programme.”

Date : 22 Feb 2017