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Send stray dogs to NE, China: Punjab MLA proposes Comment ticks off many
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

Chandigarh, June 29 2012: Punjab MLAs have come up with some unique ideas on how to get rid of the State's stray dog population.

From sending the dogs to North East states and even China, to formulating laws to kill them, the MLAs had a variety of suggestions to offer during the Assembly session on Thursday.

The discussions were held after a resolution was brought to the House to recommend to the State Government that effective steps be taken to control stray dog population in view of the increasing number of dog bite cases.

Congress' Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, who had mooted the resolution, said that stray dogs could be sent to Nagaland or China.

"There is a need to make suitable policy and amend the law to get rid of stray dogs.

The dogs can be sent to Nagaland or China, as at these places, dogs are in demand.

Laws pertaining to dogs are also different in these States than ours," Mofar said, adding that there have been many cases of dog bites in the State, with some resulting in death.

The MLAs, however, were careful enough to abstain from mentioning the purpose for which dogs should be sent to North Eastern States.

The suggestion by Ajit Singh Mofar was condemned by animal rights activists, including BJP leader Maneka Gandhi, who said it was "derogatory" to the people of the North East.

The Congress too ticked off Mofar.

"He (Mofar) is an avid skater and it will be better if he sticks to skating," AICC spokesman Manish Tewari told newsmen in Delhi.

Mofar moved a resolution in the Assembly on Thursday seeking to tackle stray dogs in the State by sending them to China, Nagaland and Mizoram for "whatever they do to them" .

"We can make arrangements to catch such dogs, put them in jungle or zoos.

Maybe we can then send them to Nagaland, Mizoram and China where they are more needed," he said in a veiled reference to the practice in some communities in North Eastern States where dogs are killed for their meat.

"Stray dogs are such a big nuisance that even going on a walk has become dangerous because of them," he said voicing concern at the sharp rise in cases of dog bites in Punjab, with an estimated 15,000 such cases reported annually.

The resolution, which was moved to the amusement of the House, has angered animal rights groups.

"I find the remark derogatory for the people of North East and like coming from an illiterate.

Punjab Government should take steps like sterilisation programmes," Maneka Gandhi said.

People for Animals president Saurabh Gupta said that no doubt, the issue raised by the MLA needs to be addressed at the earliest, but the "solution" suggested by him is "not practical and ethical" .

"It is inhuman and unethical.

Dogs have the right to live as well," he said.

If the Punjab Government attempts any such thing, we will drag them to Court, he added.

Sunil Jakhar, leader of Congress Legislative Party, distanced himself from his colleague's remark.

"A dog is a man's best friend.

Saying such things trivialises the issue.

Personally, I am against this attitude," he added.

SAD's Gurpratap Singh Wadala said that garbage dumps in rural and urban areas are one of the reasons behind the large stray dog population.

"In London, New York and other developed countries, there are no stray dogs.

This is because there are no garbage dumps where dogs scavenge.

Slum dwellers take care of dogs as pets," he said.

While stressing that there should be laws on dogs, SAD's Iqbal Singh said that when there can be death penalty for humans, there could be laws to kill dogs as well.

Shiv Ram Kler of the SAD also told the Assembly that more than 15,500 people have been bitten by dogs last year.

"There was a need to construct dog pounds on line of cattle pounds where strays will be kept," he said.

Concern was also expressed over the lack of anti-rabies injections and medicines in the civil hospitals.

The MLAs contended that with 10 to 15 cases of dog bites being reported every day at civil hospitals, the supply of medicines should be adequate.

Former Health and Family Welfare Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla said that in February, she had written to Prime Minister's Office asking for a solution to the problem.

"But we never received a reply.

It is the duty of the Government to get stray dogs off the roads, no matter how they do it.

Why are there laws to show mercy to stray dogs when all other animals are butchered?" she asked.


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