DSCC’s move to relocate stray dogs widely criticized
Instead of relocating stray dogs from the streets of the city, the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has decided to sterilize the canines to control their population, unlike the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
To this end, initiatives have been taken to renew a previous agreement with a non-governmental organization called Obhoyaronno, confirmed DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam.
Sources said DSCC is relocating dogs from the areas under its jurisdiction. Hundreds of dogs have already been relocated from different parts of the city to the corporation's Matuail area.
DSCC Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh at the budget announcement ceremony on July 30 said: "We are thinking about what to do to keep the stray dogs under control.”
In the third week of August, widespread news in the media -- quoting senior officials of DSCC -- claimed the city corporation planned to relocate 30,000 stray dogs out of the city.
The move drew protests from different quarters and was widely criticized on social media. Animal lovers and rights organizations called the initiative illegal.
However, DSCC Public Relations Officer Md Abu Naser told Bangla Tribune that the forced relocation of stray animals is illegal if it is done by a person or an organization; it is not illegal if it is done by the city corporation.
According to the Local Government (City Corporation) Act, 2009, if the city corporation deems it necessary, it can remove a stray animal or even kill it, Naser said.
“But we’re not killing them [stray dogs], we’re relocating them,” he added.
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It seems that DSCC’s stand is clear on the issue. On the other hand, DNCC is taking a different route to tackle the issue — they will not relocate, remove, or kill stray dogs; they will sterilize the dogs instead.
Asked about the matter, Mayor Atiqul said: “We have built a hospital for dogs near the Mohakhali DNCC Market. I have fed dogs in different places amid the pandemic. I still send food for them.
“We think that relocating stray dogs won’t solve the problem. The law is clear on how to treat a dog or wildlife.”
Atiqul continued: “The prime minister has also given the directive to conserve wildlife.
“I think that dogs need to be sterilized, they need to be vaccinated for rabies.
Also Read - Are Dhaka streets no longer safe for dogs?
“The contract we had with Obhoyaronno has expired. We are going to sign a deal with them again.”
Assuring the city dwellers, the DNCC mayor said: “There’ll be no dog culling in DNCC.
“Many of us love dogs, people give them food in different places. They have become friends.
“My message is very clear — no dogs in DNCC will be removed from the area, relocated, or killed. If any citizen does these things, we will take action according to the law of 2019.”
Urging people not to disturb stray dogs, Atiqul said: “The dogs will stay in their space, we will stay in ours. We have to maintain the balance of our environment along with them.”
The 2019 law prohibits anyone from hurling stones at stray dogs, or hitting them with sticks or anything else, added the mayor.