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Missing: First beggars, now dogs

delhi Updated: Oct 06, 2010 01:10 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Not just beggars, even dogs aren't spared by the authorities in the name of the Commonwealth Games.
Authorities are removing hundreds of stray dogs from the streets of Delhi, flouting all norms, animal lovers and activists claimed. Delhi has approximately two lakh stray dogs.

Animal activists said they had approached the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) a few months ago to start the sterilisation activity.

"Both the agencies had promised us no sterilised dogs would be picked up but dogs continue to go missing from the streets. I have seen a truckload of dogs being taken away from an NDMC area," said Javed Iqbal Shah, an animal right activist.
Rukmini Sekhar, another animal rights activists, added, "Despite High Court orders (1993) prohibiting removal of dogs from their territories, the dogs are being removed. It is illegal and a criminal offence."

Generally, the civic agencies take away street dogs and bring them back to the same area after sterilization. But since September 22, the activists said, dogs have been removed but not brought back to their respective localities in and around the CWG venues/stadiums.

Rishi Dev of Citizens for Animal Rights (CFAR) said, "Dislocation increases the carrying capacity of a biome or micro-habitat of dogs as resources are abundant, thereby decreasing their mortality rate … ultimately increasing number of dogs."

After the media highlighted the issue of dogs at the Games Village, the civic agencies roped in NGOs to take away stray dogs.

The animal shelter home run at Defence Colony by Friendicoes, an NGO, currently houses 190 dogs, far more then its capacity.

Similarly, they have been provided additional space at the Ghazipur facility of Delhi State Animal Husbandry Department, which houses as many as 210 dogs. At both places, the dogs would be kept till the Games are over.

"The problem of stray dogs would not have risen had the civic agencies started sterilization on time. For instance, it could have been started when the construction started at the CWG Village," said Gautam Barat of Friendicoes.

Dr Dinesh Yadav of Palika Animal Birth Control Society said, "We are not dumping dogs anywhere. We are giving them to an NGO Sonadi. These are being removed from the streets."

MCD's Director (Press and Information) Deep Mathur said, "We are ensuring that the dogs are being lifted in a proper manner. The process started very late because Animal Welfare Board of India did not give us permission to build shelter homes."

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