Homo – Canine Association
There are many options in dealing with the dog menace
FEEDBACK BY G. N. WADOO
“All about a dog” written by Charles Dickens vividly captures his travel in a passenger bus. A lady passenger had a little dog hidden under her pitch. The dogs were not allowed in passenger vehicles as per the law of the land. The conductor asked the lady to debus. The lady, however, ignored the warning and went on the roof of the vehicle with the little dog and immediately returned to her seat due to severe cold, hiding the dog under her jacket. The conductor stopped the bus many a time and asked the lady to get down. This caused great inconvenience to the passengers and they left the vehicle half way, many of them without reaching their destinations and the lady also left in desperation. The passenger left in the bus was the author who heard the conductor saying that the passengers were put to inconvenience because of the dog and he had to uphold the law of the land under all circumstances, then he turned to the author and asked his opinion. The author replied that the lady and her dog ought to have been allowed to travel. The law was made for the convenience of the passengers only. The conductor had acted against the spirit of law by causing trouble to the passengers.
The debate on dog menace is inviting attention of the people because about 2000 persons are reported to have been bitten/killed in the valley during the past three years or so, matter of great concern, indeed. I would like to share my thought with the readers through this column.
As a matter of fact the dogs have lived in and around the human societies from times immemorial and one can hardly believe that the dogs are enemies of mankind; instead they have proved faithfully, and have served as security guards, as night watch, challenging thieves and other suspected people in their territorial habitat. They are also the known scavengers. Man could not provide food and shelter and instead pelted stones and fustigated the poor creatures for none of their fault. The dog went hungry for days together but stood firm on his duty in the service of his master. It wagged its tail to say thanks to his master who looked to his needs of food or saved him from a stones.
A common stray dong is so much accommodated and conditioned by nature that it can easily identify the residents, non residents, vendors, hawkers etc. in the locality though it has never been trained in an animal institution like those who are associated with defense and investigation bureaus etc. It is therefore unfortunate that the dogs have become violent, killing many people, recently a four year boy from Pulwama. On the other hand we find the wild life also coming down to urban areas for human assault, there have been many such incidents in the valley in the recent past.
We can neither categorize the dog species as wild animals nor get them eliminated by shifting to pounds or prisons whatsoever because such schemes will be of no avail, but only problematic. Sterilizing the dogs, not such a great idea.
My perception is that the healthcare for dogs has retarded considerably during turmoil in the State particularly in the valley. The health care and dog management need to be restored to enable these creatures live as they used to live in their habitat before.
The law needs to be enforced in letter and spirit for the safety of humans on one hand and the canines on the other. The Government of Jammu and Kashmir have many options in dealing with the dog menace, the best is the traditional system adopted by Dogra and other rulers for containing canine population growth and the apprehensions thereof. The State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Departments have to be reorganized for the purpose. Apart from this, I would suggest to read the expert views of Dr. Mujeeb Fazili (GK 19.08.2011) in this context.
(G. N. Wadoo is Retired official of Geology and Mining Department, J&K)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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