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Gurgaon residents, activists at odds over animal capture

Animal rights activists, who feed stray animals in the area, claimed that they often get into quarrels with members of nearby residential societies, as they protest against people hired by the MCG to capture these animals.

The activists said that while they are making an effort a peaceful coexistence of the strays and residents, the latter want the animals removed from civilian areas over fears that they might be harmed.

Amita Singh, a resident of DLF Phase-3 and member of Walk for Animal and Habitat (WAH), an NGO, claimed that the city was developed by destroying the natural habitats of peacocks and monkeys. “These animals and birds have nowhere to go. Residents seem to have turned against them. The city, as we know it today, once used to be their home before an ever-growing concrete jungle destroyed their habitat.”

Rights activists said that stray animals in the city are in bad shape and are being captured illegally.

Amit Chaudhery, president, People for Animals (PFA), Gurgaon and an honorary animal welfare officer of the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, and Government of India, said, “Stray monkeys, dogs, and pigs in the city are being treated brutally by the MCG staff. They capture pigs from roads and forcefully put them in a van before killing them. Monkeys, too, are often at the receiving end as they are caught by MCG people after lacing bananas with drugs. Dogs are also randomly pulled off the streets by the staff.”

Read I Gurgaon: MCG devises plan to catch stray dogs, monkeys in humane manner

However, residents defended seeking removal of strays they are a nuisance in a residential area and risk causing harm to them. “I often have second thoughts about going for a run, as stray monkeys prowl the area and can attack me any time. Also, dog poop litter the streets and poses a health risk for residents,” Rajan Munjal, a resident of Ardee City, Sector 52, said.

Another resident, Chirag Saini, a resident of Sector 30, said, “Stray dogs and pigs can be found everywhere in the city. Cases of dog bites are on the rise and pigs lead to an unhygienic ambience.”

V Umashankar, commissioner, Municipal Commissioner Gurugram (MCG), refused to comment on the issue.

A case regarding ‘unethical’ capture of pigs and monkeys by the MCG is in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and will be heard on January 12.

The petitioner alleged that the civic body staff has been involved in illegally capturing and drugging monkeys. The act is deemed illegal as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

In 2015, of the 7,372 cases of rabies recorded at the city’s Civil Hospital, 387 were caused by monkey bites. In 2016, cases of rabies increased to 9,356, of which 1,051 were blamed on monkey bites. This year, till December 23, as many as 9,267 rabies cases were registered with the government hospital. On an average, the hospital receives 32-35 cases of monkey bite in a month. The same works out to one incident a day.

1.Chetna Joshi, resident, Kendriya Vihar, “Monkeys should be treated in a humane way while being removed from a residential society. They should not be drugged or beaten. There is no evidence to suggest that stray monkeys dogs harm people.”

2.Supriya Sati, resident of Rosewood City, Sector 49, said, “Animals live close to human habitation in the quest of food and water. We should learn to co-exist.”

3.Prasanna K, a resident said, “We have been living in fear of monkeys. They storm our homes and destroy our belongings.”

4.Bharati Vennela, a reisident said, “The stray dogs and monkeys are a menace, as they could attack us any time.”

Date : 14 Jan 2018

Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/gurgaon/gurgaon-residents-activists-at-odds-over-animal-capture/story-hIWiJDWLrdidmdD5lBA9iO.html