Road accident injuries among animals spike in last two days as traffic returns, say animal NGOs
With an increase in number of vehicles returning to the road in the past two days, different animal welfare NGOs are receiving more cases of animals being injured, some seriously.
Veterinarians have observed that animals had extended their territorial boundaries during the lockdown that was in force for 40 days. Due to this, these animals roamed freely even onto roads until last Monday when the lockdown was extended but with considerable relaxations, including allowing offices to open and vehicles to ply with a prescribed limit of passengers.
While the district animal husbandry department said that they have not received any such complaints yet, a number of volunteers who had been feeding and treating the stray and community animals, especially dogs, say otherwise.
“Just today we received some five cases of injured dogs and the cases had been rising for the past two days.There had been multiple cases of fractures and spine injury. It seemed that whatever hit them was moving too fast for the animals to react,” said Sanjay Kumar Mahapatra, head of Noida based NGO house of stray animals (HSA). Mahapatra, who runs a road side dispensary near sector 61, said that he had received more than 12 cases of road accidents in past two days.
This, he said, pointed to speeding and rash driving.“We request people to drive slow,” he added.
Other animal welfare organisations had similar stories to tell.
“We have treated about six dogs with spine split in two halves over past two days. One dog died. This happens when dogs are run over, or the cars are too fast or the driver is drunk. They find wide open roads as traffic is still not up to what it was before the lockdown was announced on March 25, and they drive fast with dogs falling prey to their speed,” said Kaveri Rana, president, People for Animals (PFA), Gautam Budh Nagar.
According to veterinarians, it’s a tendency of animal to extend their territory wherever there are fewer human activity.
“We see more dogs sitting covering the road and this is because there were fewer vehicles on the road. For this, a lot of feeders are also responsible as we have seen them feeding either on road, or by the roadside, while they should be feeding them a little away from the road or by a park. This encourages dogs to extend their territory to roads and thus with vehicles now returning back, they get hit. This will take some time before the animals understand that roads are not their territory,” said says Dr Abhishek Dabar, official vet at Noida authority’s animal at sector-94.
Meanwhile, officials said that they have not received any such report.
“So far we have not received any report of road accidents, though if happens we are ready to treat such animals. It’s obvious that when there will be traffic on the roads there will also be cars. Though not the animals, but I have seen three car accidents since yesterday while returning from Vikas Bhawan,” said VK Srivastava, chief veterinary officer, GB Nagar.
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