Stray dog issue echoes in HP Assembly


A legislator in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly today demanded that the government declare stray dogs as “vermin” but it rejected the request, saying dogs are very close to humans and cannot be compared to monkeys.

BJP’s Maheshwar Singh moved a calling attention motion in the House on stray dog menace and demanded that they should also be declared as vermin like monkeys.

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Singh cited an incident of a dog having chased and bitten more than six persons in Shimla on February 17.

He said the monkeys and dogs have become a pain in the neck for common man as they suddenly attack and bite the passersby.

Replying to the calling attention motion, Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma said, “Dogs are very close to humans and cannot be compared with monkeys. The Supreme Court had ordered against culling of dogs. The government is bound to follow the orders.”

“The government is pursuing its strategy of anti-rabies vaccination and sterilization to control the population of stray dogs and there has been a decline in their numbers as per the census carried out every five years,” he said.

Some animal rights organisations and civil society groups are completely opposed to any action of local municipal bodies to eliminate dogs or resort to any other means which amounts to cruelty against them, Sharma said.

“A fresh census is to be carried out this year but according to the 2012 census, the population of stray dogs in the state was 1.75 lakh compared to 2.82 lakh in 2008,” he said.

The minister said the Animal Birth Control Society has so far sterilized and vaccinated 16,820 stray dogs in HP.

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(With inputs from PTI)