Dog killing in Sitapur in response to alleged attacks on children; action taken

Location: Khairabad, Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh

Date: 2 May 2018 - ongoing

Nature of Issue: Killing of over 100 street dogs due to deaths of 14 children by unidentified animals

Response of community: Local animal welfare groups have been very active on this case:

  • PFA Lucknow filed an RTI against the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), to clarify the research they had undertaken in determining the nature of the animal involved in the case.
  • A group of individual activists – Mukesh Kautilya, Vivek Sharma and Anjali Singh, created a fact-finding report of the case, which was presented to the public in a press conference.
  • Humane Society International (India) set up a team in Sitapur for an investigation into the the nature of the animal involved.
  • An impleadment application was recently filed by a local activist for the Sitapur case, which will be heard in the Supreme Court on 1 June 2018.

FIAPO's action: FIAPO undertook the following actions:

  • Worked with officials of the Sitapur district administration – the District Magistrate, the Chief Veterinary Officer, the Divisional Forest Officer determine the nature of the animal.
  • Conducted an education workshop in Khairabad, Sitapur, for the representatives of 80 villages, for the purpose of better human-animal conflict management amongst the villagers.
  • Provided educational material to the DM, Sitapur, which was used in the workshop and elsewhere.
  • Met with the Secretary, UP urban development department, to set up state-level training programmes for human-animal conflict management.
  • Met with the UP DIG – Law and Order for an anti-killing order to protect street dogs, directed to the Superintendents of Police of all districts in the state.

Response of the government:

  • The Sitapur district administration has issued some notifications which effected the initiation of an ABC programme in the area. It also issued some safety instructions to local villagers.
  • The state urban development department has issued an order to start ABC-ARV in all 16 municipal corporations in the state, following this case.
  • However, no anti-killing order has been declared by the police, at the district or state levels, and FIRs have not been registered in several cases.


A Brief Insight into the Case

The recent Sitapur case in UP was a testament to how human-dog conflict can escalate in an area, leading to large-scale tragedy, both for people and animals. In this case, an unidentified animal, touted to be a wolf, hyena, jackal, wild dog, feral dog or street dog, has been responsible for the deaths of 14 children, and in response, over a 100 street dogs have been killed in the area. No forensic testing has been undertaken for the animals, and only 7 out of the 14 children have been subjected to post-mortem testing. The nature of the animals is thus unproved till date, and the solution to the problem therefore is impacted severely.

Given these circumstances, FIAPO and its partners took quick action to ensure that street dogs were not subjected to more cruel and illegal retaliation. FIAPO first worked with the District Magistrate, Sitapur, reinforcing that the killing of street dogs was illegal, irrespective of the nature of the animals that were responsible for the bites; instead, ABC and ARV in the area were the only legal solutions. We shared educational material with the DM on dog-bite and rabies prevention to be distributed in the affected villages. We attempted to file an FIR for two dead dogs, but the local police refused to take our complaint, on multiple occasions. The DM was cooperative on issues of ABC, but not on issuing firm directives against killing of street dogs.

Additionally, FIAPO and its partners conducted an education workshop in the area on human-animal conflict management, involving representatives from 80 villages. We are expecting orders from the DIG – Law and Order, to reinforce that killing of dogs is illegal and action for the same is strict. We are also expecting two state-level trainings from the Secretary, Urban Development Department, for the purpose of training of forest, police and veterinary officials from across the state in human-animal conflict management.

Read the letter sent to District Magistrate, Sitapur, UP here.

Read the letter sent to District Development Officer, Sitapur, UP here.

Read the letter sent to DIG, Law and Order, UP here.