Over one thousand people in India andaround the world have signed an online petition voicing their shock, disgustand moral outrage at the illegal, cruel and downright barbaric treatment of thedogs of Ahmedabad by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). They have alsocalled for an immediate end to the persecution of Canadian animal activist LisaWarden, who, in an effort to put an end to the cruelty, exposed the barbarismto a wider audience through online video and social networking sites.

The AMC currentlyuses an extremely cruel and painful method – the dreaded iron tongs – to catchstreet dogs in Ahmedabad (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXdqO8Dd6kU).By their own admission, the AMC catches on average 150 dogs per day in thismanner. It is illegal under the laws of India to use inhumane methods to catchdogs.

The iron tongsare indeed cruel and inhumane. The tongs are in fact so injurious that up to50% of dogs caught with tongs die from internal bleeding. The tongs arepincers. They are applied to the dogs’ necks and abdomens and squeezed tightlyin order to get a grip on the dogs, pick them up, and load them into thedog-catching van. The ensuing pressure is so intense that it often piercesinternal organs and causes hemorrhage and death. Some dogs have their abdominalcavities torn open by the tongs.

Further, the dogs caught by the AMC arenot, contrary to the law, taken to NGOs for vaccination and sterilization.Instead they are taken to peripheral areas of the city and dumped, wherewithout food, water or shelter, and often badly injured from the catching process;the dogs are left to die agonizing deaths if they are not already dead (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxr7lOebr_w).

What is even more senseless is that thishideous policy of torture, murder and displacement serves NO PRACTICAL RESULT.Dogs are territorial creatures. When dogs are removed from their locations,other dogs move into the vacated areas and fight to establish dominance. Peopleinevitably get bitten in the crossfire. As such, the practice of displacingresident dogs from their areas actually serves to put residents at increasedrisk of dog bite and rabies

The removal of dogs has never worked as adog population control policy. Even the highest recorded removal rates havefailed to check street dog populations. All removal and displacement does isopen up new habitat for other dogs to inhabit and repopulate. It is to that endthat the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Society for theProtection of Animals (WSPA) collaborated to produce a set of recommendationsfor dog population management in 1990. The recommendations advocate mass sterilizationand anti-rabies vaccination in lieu of mass killing for reducing dog populations.

In India, where tens of thousands of peoplestill die every year from rabies, street dog sterilization and immunization arethe only legal and the only effective methods of addressing the dog populationand the rabies threat. Any such program must be carried out using humanemethods.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation isacting in contravention not only of the laws of India, but also the laws of humanconscience, which is all the more shocking as it is occurring in the land ofGandhiji, one of the greatest teachers of compassion the world has ever known.

The petition also denounces the brazen anddespotic targeting of Ahmedabad dog-lover and Canadian national Lisa Warden,who has been trying to convince the AMC since 2009 of the need to adopt aneffective, scientific, legal and humane dog population initiative. In responseto her efforts the AMC has revealed a dangerously anti-democratic andtotalitarian bent, by slapping her with a whole host of charges includingtheft, obstruction of public servants, extortion, misleading the public and a$2 million defamation suit. That such tyrannical methods would be employed bythe municipal authority of a modern city in 21st century, democraticIndia – a city that is seeking UNESCO world heritage status no less – is trulyshameful.

The petition’s signatories have demandedthat the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation immediately cease its illegal andbarbaric treatment of the city’s dogs, that it implement forthwith a masssterilization and anti-rabies vaccination campaign in accordance with thestandards set forth by the Animal Welfare Board of India and under thesupervision of this latter, and that it immediately drop all charges, bothcivil and criminal, against Lisa Warden.

The petition, signatures and comments canbe viewed at http://www.petitiononline.com/dogtruth/petition.html.

Every month I get information on how Kerala, Karnataka and even Tamil Nadu is on a mass witch hunt against dogs. It is sad and pathetic to even think about it but what's entirely worse is that it's the public administration which does all this, against supreme court orders.

What is good for you is to grow a brain and soul and actually do some proper work like taking part in ABC which will control dog population in the most humane manner rather than a dumb witted witch hunt.On another occasion there was an online debate raging on whether Karnataka should again kill scores of dogs the way they were doing in the past and I was aghast to see innumerable number of south Indians from Bangalore and other such cities posting comments like "yes kill them all" and "send them all to Korea and Taiwan to be eaten". Does your apathy know no bounds?
I hope they understand logic, ABC is the only proper way of controlling dog population which has been proved by scientific methods.