The animal rights activists have scheduled a meeting with the DSCC mayor next week, Rakibul Haq Emil says
Animal rights activists and environmental activists have lashed out at the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) saying it is ruining their years of work for animal welfare and creating a negative impact on the city’s environment by relocating dogs.
Animal rights activists organized a press conference on Thursday in the wake of DSCC’s decision to relocate stray dogs from the TSC area of Dhaka University (DU) and Dhanmondi.
DSCC’s action stirred debate after a few videos went viral that showed some employees sedating street dogs and throwing them into a truck.
The press conference was jointly organized by Obhoyaronno, Rabies in Asia Foundation, Bela,Paw Foundation, Care for Paws, and Stella Animal Welfare Foundation at The National Press Club in Dhaka.
Rubaiya Ahmed, founder of animal rights organization Obhoyaronno, said her organization is vaccinating and sterilizing street dogs for 10 years and DSCC’s decision to relocate these dogs is a direct blow to all the work her organization had done in the decade.
“The mayor [Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh] used to support our cause including legally battling animal cruelty in Bangladesh. I do not understand what happened to that person after taking the office,” she said.
She also said animal rights activists do not need any support from the mayor but they certainly do not want the mayor to ruin all the work they have done.
Rakibul Haq Emil, founder of animal welfare organization PAW foundation, said the major focus should be on educating people on treating animals with compassion.
“Imagine a child seeing some people mercilessly netting, sedating and throwing away a dog right in front of his eyes. That child will never learn about treating dogs humanely,” he said.
Dog bites can be prevented, he said, adding: “People need to stop irritating and provoking dogs unnecessarily.”
Emil said the animal rights activists are not looking for funds. “All we need is a platform and a good policy for animal welfare,” he mentioned.
Emil told Dhaka Tribune over the phone that they do not have any plans for any movements at this moment but the DSCC mayor has agreed to sit with them next week.
Be-Nazir Ahmed, chairperson of Rabies in Asia Foundation, Bangladesh said in a video message that 16 lakh dogs in Bangladesh can be turned into assets since dogs can provide service for humans.
He thinks the decision of relocating dogs is dangerous for both the dogs and the people living in the areas where the dogs are being relocated.
“The dogs would feel threatened in a completely new place and might attack the residents of those areas as a result. Meanwhile, unvaccinated dogs will start living in TSC and Dhanmondi area,” he said.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, the chief executive of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA), said the DSCC mayor is not listening to the voices of the youth despite being a young mayor himself.
“The majority of young people in Dhaka are against animal cruelty. The mayor should respect the progressive values of our society such as treating animals humanely,” she said.