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The human-animal conflict on the rise

There’s an urgent need to stop designating animals as ‘vermin’ as it takes the protective shield of the wildlife Act away from animals

A practice that continues despite strong and reasoned opposition is that of proclaiming species of wild animals as “vermin” and thus putting them out of the ambit of the protective umbrella of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the principal instrument for protecting wild animals in India. The wild boar and nilgai have been proclaimed as “vermin” in Uttarakhand, the nilgai and boar in some districts of Bihar, and the rhesus macaque in parts of Himachal Pradesh.

The Act does not define the term “vermin” in terms of what it connotes. It just states in Section 62: “The Central Government may by notification declare any wild animal other than those specified in Schedule I and Part II of Schedule II to be vermin for any area and for such period as may be specified therein and so long as such notification is in force, such wild animal shall be deemed to have been included in Schedule V.” Animals included in Schedule V can be freely hunted.

The Central Government declares an animal as vermin following requests from State Governments and the ground which has been invariably cited is that it causes damage to crops and poses a danger to human life. There have no doubt been cases in which the Centre has withheld permission. The fundamental question, however, is whether there should at all be a provision for designating an animal as “vermin”.

There are several reasons for asking this. For one thing, an article by Anupam Chakravartty, Rajeshwari Ganesan and Rajit Sengupta, published under the heading ‘Enemies of the state?’ in the DownToEarth on June 15, 2016, cites animal rights groups as saying that the drive for killing then underway was based on popular perception rather than data. The country had no data both on the populations of animals proposed to be killed and the extent of crop damage they were supposed to be causing. The article stated that, in fact, Uttarakhand’s proposal on the basis of which the Centre permitted the killing of wild boars, clearly said, “There is no scientific survey or census of the wild boar population that has been carried out. However, since the crop damage caused by wild boar is increasing, the wild boar is estimated to be overpopulated.”

Further, experience shows that once killing is permitted, villagers or designated hunters have frequently not followed the methods prescribed. An example is the case in Kerala where a pregnant cow elephant died following several days of intense agony after she had bitten on a pineapple filled with explosives. Enquiries revealed that the pineapple was intended to kill a wild boar which, as a species, had been declared “vermin”. Also, such a barbaric way of killing was not permitted even in the case of wild boars.

State Governments have doubtless laid down restrictions on the methods and guidelines governing killings — such as only rifles and pistols to be used and no killing of injured animals running away to forests, and hunting only after receiving permission from the forest department concerned and the village pradhan. But who is to ensure compliance? The fact is, methods that are not permitted are often used. These include laying out live wires for animals to be electrocuted, trapping them for murder and poisoning them. There is no guarantee that animals other than those declared as “vermin” would not come into contact with such wires or consume the poison.

The argument that State forest department personnel should watch out for the transgressors and deal harshly with them hardly holds water. It would take a very large number of people and vehicles for doing that. Given that most forest departments have to make do with numerically inadequate staff, deployment on such an errand would leave them with very few people to carry out essential functions like curbing poaching and preventing illegal felling of trees. The result may be a serious diminution of protected species like elephants (for tusks), rhinos (for their horns) and tigers for their body parts which are sought for the manufacture of so-called aphrodisiacs.

Apart from the fact that declaring an entire species of wildlife as vermin is contrary to the spirit and content of Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution which enjoins upon both the Government and all citizens to show compassion to all living creatures, animals can hardly be blamed for damaging standing crops and attacking people. The loss of the vegetation they feed on following the destruction of their habitats through encroachment by expanding human settlements, roads and industries, as well as droughts and forest fires, has driven them to agricultural fields for food.

Humans do not realise that their own predatory exploitation of nature is increasing areas of human-animal conflict and making non-human species extinct at the rate of 3,000 a year. In this process, they are also destroying the environment and the conditions that have made human life possible. They need to realise that they are not the lords of the universe and must live in harmony with the world around them, including plants and animals. The Greek sophist Protagoras’ famous aphorism “Man is the measure of all things” needs to be amended to read, “Humans are the preservers and protectors of all things.”

(The author is Consulting Editor, The Pioneer. The views expressed are personal.

Dog shot in Bhopal, Dogs brutally beaten up in Mumbai and Ambala; Dogs in Delhi turn Angels at night

Cruelty against dogs is just not coming to a halt in India. Rather it's only increasing day by day.

A dog in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh was shot by air gun (pic in the post). He received around four shots. The pellets are still in his body. His back is paralyzed and he is in a critical condition. 

https://m.facebook.com/groups/871490746280065/permalink/3894385263990583/

Two dogs were tortured by two men in Mumbai. The men smashed the face of the dogs with their feet and then forced them in plastic bags and then left them to die. These human monsters even physically assaulted and used filthy language for a female animal rights activist of team Farishtey, the NGO which rescued the dogs. The dogs are in a critical condiruin. An FIR has been lodged against the culprits. Kindly watch the video to see how cruel men have become.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sgacc/permalink/3912332508832617/

A dog was tied and beaten up and his jaw was torn apart after he barked at his perpetrator. This happened in Ambala in Haryana. 

https://www.facebook.com/1904488516479991/posts/2828722987389868/

This is a small video made by a lady who finds walking alone at night on the roads of Delhi very unsafe. She is not scared of stray dogs who surround her and give her protection but the humans who pass lewd remarks and make any lady walking on the deserted street feel unsafe. Kindly watch the angels at night protecting the women of India....

Pressing matters pertaining to dog breeders

To,

Hon'ble Shri Anil Mukim ji,

Chief Secretary,

Government of Gujarat

Sub: Pressing matters pertaining to dog breeders

Respected sir,

I am writing to you with regard to a news clip that appeared in the Indian Express Gujarat section today, dated, 20-7-21, titled ‘Government warns of action against unregistered dog breeders.’ I want to convey my gratitude to the Government for taking the matter with great interest. However, there are a few pertinent aspects, that, I, as a concerned citizen want to bring to light;

1.       The registration fee is too nominal, rupees 5000, that any dog breeder can easily afford to shell off for their illegal business to thrive. For instance, an illegally bred Labrador pup is sold off maybe at around 5k and they sell such pups in numbers on a monthly basis. So, paying 5k is not even going to be peanuts for them. Rather they will have a legal sanction to go about the dog trafficking without the fear of being caught as they will flaunt their license. I am sure the Government does not want that. We want to disapprove of such parasites and together, we want to uproot the evil of animal trafficking from society. The vice is simply too deep rooted to be uprooted by a minimal 5k fee.

2.       Illegal dog breeders do not practice in the open, so it is highly unlikely that their shops will be a reflection of the dastardly practices they engage in. They proliferate in cramped settings wherein the common man and no authority has any access. It is a heinous cruel parallel industry that thrives in every nook and corner of every city.

3.       It is also very unfortunate that illegal dog breeders have a backing and a liaison with vets, ranging from novices to the best with booming practices and clinics because it is a mutually beneficial business for both. Time and again, I have been a witness to pregnant mother dogs undergoing ultrasound and the prices of their pups being decided even before they are born, pups are sold off as commodities, in bred dogs are abandoned and the list is endless. There are no ethics. It is a nexus between the breeders and the vets so it is not only the former but the latter too who needs to be monitored and cracked a whip on. 

I also take this opportunity to request the Government of Gujarat to open a portal for citizens to report on illegal breeders. Please help put an end to animal trafficking.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Kuhu Roy

Baroda 

Dogs physically abused in Delhi; Dog run over by truck in Mumbai; Anushka & Virat open rescue homes

Few miscreants in North Delhi can be seen abusing and torturing the dogs just for fun. They threw a dog on the ground and then kicked the dog with legs as if it was a football. The caregiver did try to file an FIR but the police didn't file the FIR. May be death alone of a dog is justifiable for the police to file an FIR. Anyway the DCP North Delhi has assured the caregiver that he will take necessary action against the culprits. To watch the dogs being tortured and the culprits having a gala time doing it kindly go on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/376516153177730/permalink/956779831818023/

A truck driver in Vasai West in Mumbai chased a dog deliberately and crushed him under his wheels. One can see how the dog was running for his life in front of the truck and the truck driver chasing him from the back and then deliberately hitting him from behind. The dog died.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/376516153177730/permalink/955702045259135/

Virat Kohli the famous cricketer and Anushka Sharma the Bollywood actress and Virat's wife have opened two animal shelters in Mumbai.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/sgacc/permalink/3908800475852487/

This is great news and many sick and injured animals will benefit by it but there are a couple of things that anyone who plans to run an animal shelter In India should keep in mind:

1 People in India often get confused with the name animal shelter. They start thinking that these are permanent homes for the animals. People then start dumping stray animals especially healthy dogs and small pups in those shelters. They often leave them outside the shelter thinking that the animal will be taken care of inside. Hence, one should avoid the word shelter and rather use words like hospital or rehabilitation centers. So that people know that these places are only for sick, disabled and injured animals and not for healthy animals. And that these are temporary homes. Once the animal is fine he shall be dropped back to his original location. 

2 The cost of running animal rescue homes is huge. The recurring costs are very high. Daily food, medical treatment, medicines, transportation and then the salary of the staff and monthly maintenance  cost ( electricity, water, rent etc..) are quite high. Hence, one should be very careful and give admission to only those animals who actually need the place and not to those who are healthy and fit. Healthy dogs are often relocated by people in these homes. People just do not know that these homes are not the right place for the animals and that their natural habitat is the only right place for them.

Anushka and Virat are celebrities and so may easily afford running two rescue homes but not all rescue homeowners are like them. Many people out of love for street animals have opened homes. But today they are struggling to make their ends meet.  This is a case from Jammu where the lady has given refuge to more than 250 animals who are mainly dogs. She has sold every asset she had and now she is ready to sell even her kidney. Because she just cannot see her animals die of hunger. To listen to her sad story kindly go on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1081120645721229

This is another gentleman who is trying to make ends meet. He has more than 400 animals living in his home. To listen to his story kindly go on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/315603771494/posts/10158421268396495/

If only the people of India knew that healthy dogs cannot be relocated and relocation is an offence then probably many of these rescue homes would not have been inundated with healthy and fit dogs. It's time people of India know the role of rescue homes and the founder and owner of homes too create awareness about the same. 

People who run animal rescue homes have a heart of gold and they start the homes often with the intention and passion to help the animals  without evaluating the financial and operating risks involved in it. But later they pay a very heavy price. Both at personal and professional level. 

Opening rescue homes is a very good step taken by Anushka and Virat but it's also very important that they become the voice of the voiceless. They educate people of India about the dog rules and bust myths attached with the Indian breed dogs. People of India should know that relocation of healthy dogs is an offence and that the Indian breed dog is neither dirty nor rabid. That they are as loving and loyal as any other pedigree breed. And most importantly animal rescue homes are not home for healthy and fit animals. They are rehabilitation centres for the injured, sick and disabled animals.

Paravet physically abuses dog for biting him: Dog passed away!

NOTE: Article has been edited by admin

A very shocking case of dog cruelty is doing rounds on social media. A female dog was tortured in a very brutal fashion by a paravet working at Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre. She was physically abused just because she bit the paravet. Wonder what kind of paravet is he who took revenge on this innocent child just because she bit him?  This inhuman act is not expected from a paravet that too working for such a reputed animal shelter. it's hard to believe that this kind of cruelty has happened in one of the largest shelters of India. The shelter belongs to the PFA founder Maneka Gandhi and her sister Ambika Shukla runs the shelter. Both sisters have always stood for animals and have spoken unequivocally for their rights. Let's hope all the guilty here are punished and justice is done to the dog who is no more in this world. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sgacc/permalink/4167110506688148/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sgacc/permalink/4168706999861832/

Very recently videos have gone viral trying to expose the bad condition in which the centre is but what people don't realize is that unlike many other shelters and centres where outsiders are not allowed to see the condition they work in this centre has never stopped people from entering the shelter and taking videos. Regardless to say the links shared in this post are also from the Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre Facebook page. 

If the admins of the page wanted they could have removed the content which is talking ill about the centre.  

It takes years to build a name and it just takes a second to tarnish it all. So let's not malign the management for this most barbaric incident. 

What has happened is disgraceful and the management should see to it that all those responsible get punished.