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Dogs are here to "stay"

March 9, 2017
- Aman Nayak, Anurag Mall, Nikhil Arora

The last few months have seen a rise in the cases of dog bites in and around the campus, with several students speaking out on social media to express their grievances against the dog menace. A large section of the student community has regularly petitioned the Students Affairs’ Council to take concrete action regarding this issue. Here, we try to look at the issue and figure why it refuses to die down.

Our hands are tied

Animal Welfare 1 Animal Welfare 2 Ref: http://www.awbi.org/awbi-pdf/circular_abc_cantonmentboards.pdf

According to a circular [1] issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, stray dogs cannot be beaten or driven away from their localities. They can however, be sterilised, immunized, and released back into the same area in accordance with the Animal Birth Control programme; which happens once every two years in the campus. According to K.P. Singh, Chief Security Officer, these sterilised dogs (whose right ears have been notched) are often displaced due to aggressiveness, which leads to other fertile and territorial dogs from outside the campus taking their place. What follows is a perpetual cycle wherein these dogs that have now entered the campus are sterilised and then again released into the wild on account of aggressiveness, and so on and so forth. The end to this is the utopian ideal of having every dog in the country sterilised and immunized, through the IIT Roorkee campus or otherwise.

Animal Cruelty Memo Ref: https://jaagrutiindia.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/public-grievances-circular-pg-1.jpg

Furthermore, a memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel and Training [2] states that in all problems relating to stray animals, “no association, recognised or unrecognised, shall take recourse to action on their own, either themselves, or through any person employed by them like Security Guards.”

The stalemate

Essentially, laws protecting animal rights makes it very hard for the authorities to act upon the students’ requests, and restricting the entry of dogs is impractical given that the campus is porous. Sterilising and vaccinating the dogs is currently the most practical means to make our campus safe. Additionally, preventing dogs from entering the bhawans by monitoring the gates constantly is definitely workable.