An expert committee set up by the Tamil Nadu government recently inspected the stray dogs confined at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) campus and found that 62 dogs are housed inside three shelters. The committee in its report said that there has been a stark decline in the number of dogs over the last 13 months and that there were 186 dogs housed in the shelters as of 04.10.2020. Further, the report said that in spite of a request made by the TN Animal Welfare Board, IIT Madras refused to furnish the details as to who adopted 34 of the dogs from the campus.
The expert committee comprising a team headed by the Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services along with committee members, experts from TANUVAS (Tamil Nadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences University), Deputy Commissioner (Health) from Greater Chennai Corporation inspected the stray dogs kept inside the shelter on November 29 and November 30.
The committee also said that 57 dogs had died over a period of 13 months, and stated that Jeevan Karunya Animal Welfare Trust (JKAWT), the NGO that has been entrusted with taking care of the stray dogs housed in the shelters, had failed to take care of the welfare of the dogs. “On perusal of the treatment register, it is found that the major clinical conditions encountered are wounds, respiratory diseases and helminthiasis. These conditions directly point out to the poor sanitation and hygiene maintained within the shelters,” the report added.
Noting that a number of dogs that are maintained in the shelters have died in the recent past for various reasons, the committee said “it would be prudent to enlarge (to extend the time allowed for compliance with an order) the stray dogs within the campus of IIT-M keeping in mind the orders of the Madras HC”. The Madras HC on September 17 ordered the state government to ensure that the IIT-M campus does not house stray dogs in shelters created by the management.
The report pointed out that the rate of decline of the population in the dog shelters has been constantly increasing and calls this a seriously worrying trend indicating JKAWT’s increasing inability to handle the situation. Further adoption needs to given to an appropriate NGO or the like along with the petitioner and state bodies i.e. Animal Husbandry, AWBI and Corporation as per direction of the Madras High Court, the report added.
The committee also observed that the managing organisation trust has failed to take good care of the sheltered dogs and directed IIT-M to take appropriate action in order to ensure the well-being of the remaining dogs. As per the report, a few dogs were noticed with overgrown nails and some dogs had lacerations on their bodies.
Following their visit, the committee recommended that the involvement of JKAWT in this matter must be removed in all capacity and their licence revoked. Given the violations of the Animal Birth Control Rules (2001) which only provide for capture of street dogs for the purpose of sterilisation and vaccination, and mandates that dogs captured must be released in the same location, as well as freedoms of animals, the dog park in IIT Madras must be taken down and all operations related to it halted, the report stated. The committee further recommended that no dog must be given for adoption without prior approval of the inspection committee.