Friday, March 16, 2007
"cull the cullers"
last week when i was in bengalooru,i read in the newspapers about the mass killings of stray dogs.i was shocked.how could the local corporation be so unreasonable, insensitive, cruel and shameful? and what was the provocation? the death of two school going children who were bitten to death by some stray dogs.the deaths occurred on jan10 and march1.it should never have happened at the first place.
the reaction from the general public was so strong that in a typical kneejerk response,the municipal authorities went on overdrive and ordered the culling of all stray dogs.it is estimated that there are about 60,000 stray dogs in bengalooru alone.healthy dogs,pregnant dogs and puppies were all picked up indiscrimantely for slaughter.they were thrashed with nailspiked rods,strangulated,electrocuted and attacked with acid.it was shocking beyond belief.how can an "a" grade city indulge in such barbarious and uncivilised actions? it was butchery of the highest order.there was a huge outcry from the doglovers."cull the cullers" they demanded. finally the authorities decided to stop the culling and take preventive action.
the authorities now propose to intensify a public campaign to raise the awareness of licensing dogs.they have also decided to restart the abc(animal birth control) programme.a special committee has been formed for management of stray dogs.they are going to adopt a humane approach and study why some dogs are ferocious.the karnataka high court has intervened and given the municipal authorities 10 days' time to provide details on the abc programme.'who'(world health organisation) has repeatedly pointed out that stray dogs populations can only be thinned out through successful implementation of the abc programme.
instead of tackling the problem of urban filth at the roots,the authorities have been reacting from time to time in a hamhanded manner.in fact, there is evidence that men and women through their rash driving kill more humanbeings than the biting dogs.garbage. when you don't have an efficient disposal mechanism for garbage,the end result is what one saw in bangalooru.the government is resposible for the criminal neglect of garbage clearance.there is no urban hygiene.the filth and refuse on the streets attract mosquitoes,dogs and other insects that spread infections.dengue returns to city regularly and jaundice and typhoid outbreaks are common.all of us know that meat cooked and sold on the streets is the root cause of the dog menace.
not all stray dogs are ferocious.many are in fact friendly and are effective night watchdogs.indian stray dogs are known to be protective towards children and people.in kolkata,recently, a newborn baby abandoned near a dustbin was guarded by three stray dogs throughout the night.they left only after the child was taken to a orphanage.and a stray dog saved a child during the tragic tsunami which hit the southern coast of india in 2004 december.
what then is the solution?
first, we have to get rational.not all dogs bite.
second,don't run or tease a dog.they sense fear or threat.
respect them.you will see the difference.
third,government and municipality must adopt a scientific approach.a mass streilisation programme must be undertaken.neutering should be done before breeding cycle begins.
fourth, lifelongshelters must be provided where these dogs can be kept.
fifth,regular clearance of garbage from street corners. sixth, meat stalls to be shifted and seventh, roadside meatcooking must be stopped.
while karnataka was fretting and fuming on the dogbite deaths issue,in neighbouring maharashtra a stray dog quietly entered the legislative assembly at mumbai when the session was going on.and that caused a furore.the opposition took the deputy chief minister to task.they said it could bite anyone and must be immediately stopped from roaming around the premises. the minister dismissed the oppositon's fears and said that dogs are harmless creatures and that there is no danger.however if the opposition insists then he would order a high level inquiry into the matter.
there are many good samaritans too. take the case of filmstar of yesteryears jeetendra's children; ekta and tusshar kapoor who are also stars in their own right.for years now, they have been adopting stray pups and abandoned dogs.they have fourteen of them. they become very touchy when stray dogs are branded as a menace.they say that this issue must be handled sensitively.their family regularly contributes towards strerilisation of stray dogs.and there are many more such examples.
give the stray dog a home.love him/her like you love your pet.he or she will reciprocate in greater measure.