Centre revises lockdown guidelines to allow vet hospitals to remain open: States issue passes to feed strays | India News

Centre revises lockdown guidelines to allow vet hospitals to remain open: States issue passes to feed strays | India News


NEW DELHI: Realising the threat posed by hungry stray animals, especially dogs, in residential areas due to lack of food during the lockdown period, mny states, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa, have stepped in to issue passes to individuals to feed such animals.
Besides, the home ministry has also revised its lockdown guidelines to allow veterinary hospitals and pharmacies to remain operational during the period. The move will help take effective action to prevent animals from suffering without medical aid.
The addition to the guidelines came after the the issue was flagged by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and many animal rights groups and individual including BJP MP and former Union minister Maneka Gandhi.
Maneka even issued an appeal, saying street dogs, cows and birds can neither get nor transmit coronavirus. “However in the event of a lockdown, if they are not fed, many will die creating another kind of serious problem,” she said while asking all animal welfare workers to feed the animals during this period.
Animal rights groups believe that hungry stray animals, including street dogs, may turn aggressive and pose danger if they are left without food.
Welcoming the move, Gauri Maulekhi, trustee of People for Animals (PFA), said, “We are grateful that the central government has taken timely steps.”
She said, “Aggravating the Covid-19 troubles, avian influenza is plaguing several states and large-scale culling of poultry birds is being done. The PPR (Peste des petits ruminants – also known as goat plague) among goats is spreading in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, and herds are getting wiped out. Animal and veterinary hospitals being shut down at such a time will add to the problem of dying, diseased and injured animals and rotting carcasses.”
Several states have started issuing passes to animal feeders. All individuals who get such passes may now go out and feed animals and birds during the lockdown period.
AWBI too wrote to chief secretaries of states and UTs, saying feeding street animals is a valuable service which is consistently being provided by compassionate individuals.
In his letter, AWBI’s chairman O P Chaudhary flagged that the absence of the practice of feeding street animals may cause a large number of animals and birds to suffer and die, and carcasses may spread different diseases which will be difficult to control.

Gurinderbirsingh

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