Kolkata, June 1 (IANS) In the wake of reports of a section of residents here allegedly ordering culling of street dogs, experts on Wednesday said killing of the canines is not only “illegal” but also “ineffective”.
“Killing of community dogs is not only barbaric but also illegal. Killing of dogs is cruel and ineffective because dogs from surrounding areas simply move in to take the place of those who were killed, and they reproduce, creating even more homeless dogs,” Manilal Valliyate, Director of Veterinary Affairs, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, told IANS.
Animal lovers, activists and concerned citizens on Tuesday marched in protest and started an online petition against the alleged culling of at least 16 street dogs by illegal dog handlers paid by a section of residents of a housing complex in the city.
According to Gopa Ganguly, a resident of Diamond City West complex in south Kolkata, street dogs are being trapped inside gunny bags and beaten to death by certain dog handlers at the behest of a section of residents.
Valliyate said the Supreme Court on March 9 had directed the states and the local bodies to take steps to sterilise and vaccinate stray dogs, under the provisions of the law.
“The Kolkata residents who allegedly issued orders to cull street dogs, should urge their local authority to do their job as entrusted by the law, instead of they themselves violating the statutory laws of the country.
“The residents issuing such apparently illegal orders, is a punishable offence under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act and Section 429 of the India Penal Code,” said Valliyate.
Trinamool Congress leader Deboshri Roy, also a well-known animal rights advocate, expressed solidarity with the animal lovers and activists and demanded the perpetrators be punished.
According to behavioural biologist Anindita Bhadra who works extensively on strays, the sterilisation programme is not conducted widely across local bodies.
“It is done in pockets and it is expensive. The natural death rate (including human factor) is quite high for the strays. Generally what happens is, if people feed them a lot, they get highly territorial and that later translates into aggression,” Bhadra, of the Behaviour and Ecology Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, told IANS.