TAMIL NADU

PfA alleges killing of community dogs at Vadakarai

CHENNAI NOV. 13. More than 100 community dogs, many of them pups, were caught, injected with insecticide and buried quietly by the Vadakarai Panchayat near Red Hills on Thursday, an animal welfare organisation has alleged. The panchayat authorities, however, denied the allegations.

Volunteers of the People for Animals (PfA) have lodged a complaint against panchayat officials with the Red Hills police.

The PfA secretary, Shiranee Pereira, alleged that the panchayat authorities hired five persons to kill the dogs. The labourers chased the dogs, snared them with metal hoops and injected a syringe full of insecticide, she said.

Volunteers, acting on a tip, rushed to Vadakarai this morning to stop the massacre. When they reached there, the labourers hastily flung the carcasses on to a bullock cart and fled. The volunteers were unable to follow them. Much later they learnt that the animals had been buried in a nearby graveyard, Ms. Pereira alleged.

The panchayat president, M.Sundar, however, insisted that no animal was killed. He told the same to volunteers also, when they confronted him in the morning. Instead, Mr. Sundar charged the PfA with not acting upon his repeated requests to neuter the numerous dogs straying in the area.

"People have been complaining that they are being bitten by the dogs. We have been requesting the PfA to start the animal birth control programme, but they have failed to do so". he said.

The PfA had indeed received a letter in June from the panchayat, asking it to start the programme. The PfA had replied that it would do so only after a formal resolution by the panchayat council authorising the organisation. It had also asked the panchayat to pay for the medicines and the post-operative care of the dogs. There was no response from the panchayat so far, Ms. Pereira said.

Five years ago, the Government ordered all village panchayats, town panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations not to kill community dogs and instead implement animal birth control programmes. "Even this order has been violated by the panchayat", Ms.Pereira said.