By Muhammad Ali
It has finally been announced by the city managers that no more dog shootings will take place in Islamabad.
The act of killing stray dogs by poisoning that had started to gain momentum in the country put off many people including both certified and non-certified animal activists.
However, after much consideration, the initiative has been brought to an end, and in a meeting held at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) headquarters, it has been decided that the brutal killings will not be taking place anymore.
Presided over by the Chief Commissioner and CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed, the meeting was attended by the CDA officers, representatives from non-profit organizations and pet lovers.
The Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat was also there, who told that the shooting has now stopped forever.
He also added that municipal by-laws will be amended to remove the clause stating the elimination of dogs.
A step to vaccinate the dogs will also be taken, for which CDA and capital administrations will be collaborating with animal welfare organizations.
As far as matters like rabies and the increasing number of stray dogs are concerned, for the cessation of which the dog shooting wing was formed by Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), non-profit organizations like Rabies Free Pakistan and Animals Birth Control will be joining hands with CDA to keep the health of the animals intact and turn Islamabad into a rabies free country all the same.
While talking to one of the leading newspapers of Pakistan, Mr. Ahmed said, “Shooting is not a solution to control the population of stray dogs. So, we decided to explore other options.”
Briefing the meeting, one of the attendees, advocate Owais Awan said that the meeting has been very positive, as its very purpose has been to stop the killing of dogs.
“It is good to see how the government has finally started taking the issue seriously. Another meeting will be held after two weeks to chalk out the proceeding strategies.”
Sardar Khan Zimri, the sanitation director seconded the idea despite having received around 1500 complaints from the citizens regarding stray dogs in their areas.
“It was only in case of emergencies that I had ordered the wing to shoot the animals.” Having said that, he agrees that the harsh step won’t be taken anymore. Now matter how grave the situation may be, the innocent animals’ lives won’t be risked.
According to municipal by-laws, residents are not allowed to keep dogs as pets without the consent of their neighbours coupled with a valid license which they are supposed to get issued by the municipal administration.
However, to the misfortune of the city, only around twenty people adopt dogs as pets through the formal procedure of getting a license first.
An MCI official told that a license is issued on two conditions: the consent of two neighbours and certified vaccination of the dogs. However, the municipal administration has failed in implementing the by-laws.