Life of street animals in Guwahati and Laws in India

By Rinku Kumari

Guwahati, March 12: There are thousands of stray dogs in Guwahati city starving between life and death; the plights of these dogs are pathetic in the city.

These stray dogs are hungry, abused and ill, and have no place to sleep. In summers, they have no respite from rains, with numerous crushed to death by vehicles on the streets of Guwahati. Be it for food or shelter, life has always been a struggle for them during their development from a pup into a full fertile Dog.

On an average 6,70,000 pups are born in a period of six years, from which and estimation can be made of the total stray dog population. Some getting crushed under cars, some suffering due to growing up homeless and starving till death while others caught by dog traders for illegal dog meat trade, some being kicked around by people, they do deserve a better quality of life as animals. As a part of our cosmos, the condition of animals are not good in the so called modern world, specially dogs.

It is often seen that cows in the city are eating plastic bags; even cats and dogs have resorted to eating plastic. Is the local bodies, GMC, Railway authorities turning a blind eye towards all these problems?  If they are not able to handle the situation, why not give power to the younger generation, so that action can be taken by some dedicated activists.

Laws related to animals do exist in India. Even if there are such laws, no one seems to be bothered about the same. According to Dog Cruelty Rule of 2001, “local authority” means a municipal committee, district board or other authority for the time. These rules may be called the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 by law with the control and administration of any matters within a specified local area.

Classification of dogs and their sterilisation include:

  • All dogs shall be classified in one of the following two categories: (i) pet dogs and (ii) street dogs.
  • The owner of pet dogs shall be responsible for the controlled breeding, immunization, sterilisation and licensing in accordance with these rules and the law for the time being in force within a specified local area.
  • The street dogs shall be sterilised and immunised by participation of animal welfare organizations, private individuals and the local authority.

Again, Kautilya’s Arthashashtra talked of maintaining wild forests and production forestry, and has elaborate retinue of forest guards and other officials to deal with and manage forests.

(The laws oriented part of the article is extracted from a special publication of the eastern zone released on the occasion of the eastern regional conference held on no 9th 10th of September, 2017 in Guwahati, Assam)

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