The Indian politician and well known animal rights activist encourages animal birth control programs
Eminent animal rights activist Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has urged the Dhaka South city Mayor, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, to stop the relocation and killing of stray dogs.
In a letter to Taposh on Thursday, the Indian politician urged the mayor to implement animal birth control measures in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Bangladesh's Animal Welfare Act 2019.
"We are horrified at the news we are receiving from countless concerned citizens of Dhaka about sterilized and vaccinated dogs which have been removed in the past couple of weeks," reads the letter by Maneka, a member of India's Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's parliament.
The move by Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) "not only harms the dogs but hurts all the efforts of citizens residing in your own municipality," she said, before adding that "nothing fruitful" came out from similar attempts in India in the past.
"Removing sterilized and vaccinated dogs and moving them away from home territory will only cause a vacuum in the city which will be filled by other dogs who will not be vaccinated or sterilized and may cause human-animal conflict in the area," Maneka said in the letter.
The chairperson of People for Animals (PFA) said several local and international organizations have worked in Bangladesh with a goal of dog population management and vaccinating street dogs over the past several years.
"The sterilization and vaccination drives have been carried out to contain the population of dogs and mitigate conflict."
This is the only sustainable solution for street dogs recommended by the WHO, as by killing and removing dogs, the desired result has not been achieved in centuries, she said.
Citing that Bangladesh's Animal Welfare Act 2019 prohibits the killing or capture and relocation of street dogs, the Indian politician urged the mayor to set up and encourage animal birth control programs, the only scientific and effective solution to street dog population management.
From late August, Dhaka South city authorities began relocating some 30,000 stray dogs, after receiving complaints of 'untoward incidents.'
The move drew criticism and heavy protest from animal rights activists from across the country.