GHMC yet to frame rules on stray feeding spots

AWBI directions came a month ago

GHMC is yet to formulate guidelines with regard to selection of feeding points for stray dogs as per the directions of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) issued last month.

The AWBI addressed directions to the Chief Secretary and the Commissioner of Police of Delhi, asking them to identify feeding spots for stray dogs in view of harassment faced by citizens attempting to feed them.

The Board, in its letter marked with copies to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, mentioned that several complaints were being received from “compassionate citizens/animal welfare activists” being harassed by neighbours, resident welfare associations and others when they tried to feed dogs. Such complaints were not being taken cognizance of by the local police, the letter said.

During COVID-19 lockdown, when all commercial establishments were shut down, animal lovers across various metropolis in the country had to face several threats and attacks when they tried to provide food to street dogs.

Resident welfare associations objected vociferously to the dogs being fed at random places, including footpaths and public roads, fearing that the canines used to the feeding spot, would make it their home.

Very recently, in March this year, three members of a family were besieged inside their car in Gurugram for three hours, when they tried to feed dogs.

In an order issued in February this year with regard to a writ petition by an animal activist against the RWA of Vasant Kunj, the Delhi High Court asked the RWA and the dog feeders aided by the AWBI representatives, to identify a spot for feeding dogs which is not frequented by children, senior citizens, and other residents. Once the spot is selected, no hindrance should be caused to the activists by the residents, while feeding the canines at the location.

Post the judgment, AWBI has ordered for necessary directions to all the local authorities to take appropriate measures to identify sufficient number of feeding spots for stray dogs in every town, village, RWA, and institutes in each and every district.

Law enforcement authorities should ensure that no hindrance is caused to people feeding street dogs at the designated location, the directions said.

While the directions came a month ago, so far no guidelines in this regard have been issued by GHMC authorities. Queries to the GHMC Veterinary wing officials about implementation of the orders have remained unanswered.

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