North Corpn wants to kill diseased stray dogs

Ruling, opposition members call for tough measures

The North Corporation is mulling killing diseased stray dogs to tackle the menace of rabies in areas under its limits. 

As the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 is not clear on killing rabid dogs, the civic agency may move court on the issue, said chairman of its standing committee Mohan Prasad Bhardwaj.

Three persons have succumbed to rabies in the corporation-run Maharishi Valmiki Hospital so far this year. Last year, 12 people died of the fatal disease.

The issue was discussed in the standing committee meeting of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday.

Councillors of both the ruling and opposition parties said they have been getting complaints from people in their respective areas about the increasing menace of stray animals, be it dogs or monkeys.

“The menace of strays has increased so much that the civic agency is seriously mulling to resort to killing the ones that look infected or diseased,” said Bhardwaj. “If we have to file a petition in court, we will do so,” he added.

Leader of Opposition Mukesh Goel said the corporation spends Rs 7 crore on salaries of doctors and other staff in the veterinary department. “What is the department doing to check the spurt in dog and monkey bite cases?” said Goel.

A total of 21,437 cases of dog and monkey bites have been reported so far this year.“We shouldn’t hesitate to put these rabid dogs to rest as it is a matter of saving the lives of many people,” Goel said.

Chief Law Officer Anil Gupta informed the committee meeting that till 1991, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi used to kill stray dogs. But after a petition was filed by animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi in 1991, the law barred the corporation of killing stray dogs as they die a cruel death after being poisoned.

To this, councillor from Pahar Ganj Virender Babbar replied that a person goes through the same pain and agony when he dies of rabies. “My close relative’s father got rabies and I only know what all he had gone through. When a man dies of rabies, isn’t that cruel?” said Babbar.

There are over 1.5 lakh stray dogs in areas under the civic agency, of which 1,026 dogs have been sterilised in April and May this year. “Around 500 dogs are being sterilised a month, which means only 6,000 dogs will be sterilised in a year. By that time the population of the dogs will have increased many folds,” said Goel.

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