The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy issued an advisory for the management and feeding of stray dogs. It states that there should be dedicated feeding points for community animals in their localities and apartment complexes lies with Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) and Apartment Owners Associations (AOA), respectively.
“These feeding spots shall be far from children play areas, entry and exit points, staircases, and should be in an area which is the least frequented by children and senior citizens. RWAs or AOAs should designate feeding times depending on the movement of children and senior citizens. The designated feeder shall ensure that there is no littering at the feeding location. Designated feeders are allowed to volunteer to help vaccinate the dogs, and to assist the animal birth control programme by helping catch and release the animals,” according to the guidelines.
The RWAs and AOAs will have to make necessary arrangements for the feeding of community dogs and cats residing in the premises or the area and their representatives shall designate feeding spots that have been mutually agreed upon. It also said that in case of pets, the owner of the animal shall be responsible for deworming, immunisation, and sterilisation and in case of street animals, the local authority shall be responsible for the same.
The stray dog incidences have been on a rise from a last couple of months in most cities across the country. A recent case was when 13 people were bitten by a dog on March 11 in Mahim village in Palghar taluka.
A dog attack on delivery boy in a lift was also, reported from Noida, last year and of an infant who was brutally slit to intestines and killed by a dog.
FPJ spoke to a few residents about their viewpoint on this. Dr Amit Gawande, a resident of Mumbai said, "Standarised guidelines are good to curb the stray dog menace but its implementation need to be thought of. A feeding spot will attract many other stray dogs."
Dr Gawande has a point. "The dogs are street bound so deciding dogs responsibility as per society will be challenging. Stray dogs tend to be aggressive due to people's bad behaviour and lack of food; so there are chances of them being violent to the people. For a big society and with people with pets, it will be easy to take care of stray animals but it would be difficult for a stand alone building," he added.
While the guidelines have been received well with the residents, the events of stray attacking humans remain a concern. Can Centre take the responsibility of getting these animals vaccinated? "People who haven't handled a dog before will have tough time taking these dogs to vaccination centres even if they are dog lovers," said the doctor.
Ayesha Omer, an investment banker by profession from Bengaluru appreciates the initiative. "I think it is a good initiative but not many people will agree to it."
Ayush, a media professional from Mumbai is of the opinion that the implementation of guideline will be a challenge among residents. "The notification looks good on paper when it comes to animal welfare, but implementation remains a challenge. While there are residents who would be willing to shell out more as maintenance and volunteer, those who don't have pets and aren't open to having strays near the premises would dispute this. The involvement of the civic body and support systems established by roping in NGOs for a public-private partnership need to be explored," said Ayush in conclusion.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)