Shoot-at-sight order for dogs raises furore among animal lovers
Dimapur, Oct. 21 (EMN): Canines in the open, either pets or street dogs, continues to raise debate even as some tend to consider them as pests and a danger to the public. Here in Nagaland, apart from being consumed as a delicacy, many districts/localities have adopted ‘shoot-at-sight’ measures to deal with dogs left in the open.
A recent notice that has been circulating across social media platforms has created uproar among many animal lovers, not just in Nagaland, but from other parts of the country as well.
The notice, issued by the Nagaland State Transport Sector Union (NSTSU), Tuensang, clearly states that any domesticated animals, especially dogs, found loose or roaming in the locality will be shot dead on the spot and a fine of INR 5000 imposed on the owner. All owners of dogs were directed to keep their pets chained 24 hours.
The president of the NSTSU, Sadang Chang confirmed to Eastern Mirror that the union did issue the notice on March 19. He informed that the notice was issued after great deliberation.
“The dogs would defecate everywhere; a resident was even bitten by a diseased dog which is very risky,” informed Chang.
The resolution was passed on March 1 but since it was not implemented, another notice was issued, he informed.
When asked if the union was aware of certain laws against cruelty to animals, Chang said “Naga people do not know about the laws and are only concerned about the harassment that is created.”
He shared that there was no other way, and if another solution to the ‘menace’ were found, they would be more than willing to consider it.
A member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) told this newspaper that the organisation is tackling the situation and trying to find a solution.
“The deadline to implement the notice sent out by the union in Tuensang is October 27 and we understand also why the warning has been issued,” shared the member.
The member informed that when dogs are left on the loose, some children or bystanders would throw stones and sticks at the animals, and the dogs bite in retaliation.
“The SPCA exists only in Dimapur at the moment and we are trying our best to make sure that help is given to animals in other districts; but there is only so much we can do at the moment,” shared the member.
It was informed that the Supreme Court had directed every district in the state to have an SPCA.
Another issue that arises, the member said, was that there was no awareness, or any regulating body to take control of such situation.
As of now, the SPCA has approached the Veterinary department along with the State Animal Board. “They have assured that the situation in Tuensang against the notice will be taken care of,” informed the SPCA member and shared that the society is more a less a self-funding organisation which makes it very difficult.
Another issue brought to light by the member was the sale of dog meat. “If the dogs are shot to death, the remains would be sold in the market for human consumption,” said the member.
Speaking to Eastern Mirror, a local resident of Aoyimti in Dimapur said that the same rule of shooting dogs at sight and imposing a fine has been applied there too. “Every night the owners would let loose of their dogs which would cause a ruckus all night as their fighting would keep everyone awake till the early hours,” said the resident while admitting that killing the dogs was a step in the extreme.
Other districts such as Zunheboto have already imposed this rule for not only dogs but also cows and pigs; whereas in Mokokchung, killing of stray dogs is already taking place, according to the SPCA member.