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Why are stray dogs still being caught?

  • Published at 01:09 pm February 18th, 2021
stray dogs
Picture shows a mural by PAW Foundation protesting the relocation of stray dogs Dhaka Tribune/Rajib Dhar

Two recent incidents have raised concern among animal rights activists

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) is allegedly continuing its drive to remove stray dogs from certain areas, some citizens have complained.

During one such incident, a 55-second video, shot by a pedestrian on February 14, showed two people getting out of a DSCC vehicle at Bongo Bazar intersection around 7am and trying to catch a stray dog using a net.

The video was shared on social media.

“To me, the matter seemed very inhuman. I talked to them [the staff] to find out if they were actually from the city corporation or not and then made this video. They said they will release the dog outside Dhaka city area,” Musauddnabi Saikot, who shot the video, told Dhaka Tribune.

Along with Saikot, others on the road also asked the DSCC men why they were restraining the dogs. They replied that they were following orders of the DSCC mayor and the dogs will be taken out of Dhaka and then released.

Meanwhile, another stray dog was also picked up on February 16 from Mugda area, but the city corporation claimed it was part of a pilot sterilization program and not for relocation.

DSCC's plan not clear

On September 29 last year, animal rights campaigners sat for a meeting with DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh to discuss the controversial relocation of stray dogs from the capital.

Also read- DSCC starts illegally relocating stray dogs

Even after that, they continued to receive reports that stray dogs were still being removed from different areas of the city.

The campaigners said they received no response from DSCC even after sending a letter to the mayor in two phases to resume talks. 

“Although the mayor did not specifically pledge to stop relocating the dogs, we received a positive message from him,” PAW Foundation Founder Rakibul Haq Emil told Dhaka Tribune.

File photo of stray dogs on a Dhaka street Dhaka Tribune/Mahmud Hossain Opu“After watching this [55-second] video, we are now trying to understand whether the mayor is aware of this incident or are workers removing the dogs on their own. We have seen that some public representatives have also been removing stray dogs on their own,” he said.

“We need a clear idea on what plans the DSCC has on its relocation program and infertility measures for stray dogs,” he added.

On October 12, the High Court asked the DSCC not to continue relocation of stray dogs from its area until the further hearing of the writ petition filed to this effect.

The court also asked Attorney General AM Amin Uddin to ensure that stray dogs were not being relocated until the further hearing of the petition.

Also read- Stray dogs need vaccination, not relocation

Obhoyaronno Chairman Rubaiya Ahmad said just a single meeting will not be enough to resolve the issue.

"Where we have been assured from the court that dogs will no longer be relocated, there is no way the mayor can continue it. We have been receiving such complaints from different areas," she said.

But, from this video it is clear that the dog will be taken somewhere else, she added.

From September to October last year, DSCC evicted stray dogs from Shahjahanpur, Motijheel, and Dholaipar areas, and sent them to the Matuail landfill site, which DSCC officials confirmed to Dhaka Tribune on October 19.

Dog sterilization program

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, DSCC officials said two stray dogs were picked up in the last few days, but not for relocation purposes.

In response to the February 14 video, DSCC officials refuted the claims of those in the video and asserted that no stray dogs were picked up over the last few months for relocation.

Also read- DNCC to sterilize stray dogs unlike DSCC

They claimed that these two male dogs were picked up for neutering as part of a pilot project for a dog sterilization program, which the city corporation plans to launch in late April this year.

However, a DSCC veterinarian could not confirm neutering any dog in the last few days.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, DSCC CEO ABM Amin Ullah Nuri said: “We have been continuing the relocation program based on complaints received from citizens. When we receive complaints of stray dogs biting people in any area, our staff visit the area and pick up the dogs to release them in a safe place where they will get enough food.”

“We are fulfilling our responsibility to provide safety to the citizens. No dog removal is currently being done without complaints.”

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