ISALMABAD: City managers on Monday decided that there will be no more dog shootings in Islamabad.
The decision was taken in a meeting held at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) headquarters with Chief Commissioner and CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed in the chair.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hamza Shafqaat, CDA officers, representatives from non-profit organisations and pet lovers.
“Shooting has been stopped forever,” Mr Shafqaat told Dawn, adding it has been decided that municipal by-laws will be amended to remove the clause stating elimination of dogs.
CDA, capital administration to work with animal welfare organisations to vaccinate canines
The CDA and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration in collaboration with animal welfare organisations will work to vaccinate stray dogs.
Currently, in municipal by-laws, the solution to get rid of stray dogs is their elimination for which the civic agency has a special dog shooting wing.
Mr Ahmed told Dawn that the CDA has joined hands with non-profit organisations such as Rabies Free Pakistan, Animals Birth Control and pet lovers to make Islamabad a rabies-free city.
He said shooting is not a solution to control the population of stray dogs, adding: “So, we decided to explore other options.”
Advocate Owais Awan, who also attended the meeting, said: “Today’s meeting remained very positive as shooting of dogs has been banned, it is good to see that the government is taking this issue seriously. After two weeks, another meeting will be held to chalk out further strategy.”
It is relevant to note here that a special wing of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) is supposed to shoot stray dogs dead.
The shooters are especially trained to kill the animals in an inhumane manner, early in the morning.
During the meeting, Sanitation Director Sardar Khan Zimri agreed that there should be no killing. However, he said he had been receiving complaints from citizens about stray dogs in their respective areas. Currently, there are 1,500 active complaints that his office received through Pakistan Citizen Portal.
Talking to Dawn after the meeting, he said though hundreds of complaints were left unattended, he only gave orders to kill dogs in case of an emergency.
According to municipal by-laws, residents are not allowed to keep dogs without the consent of their neighbours and valid licence issued by the municipal administration. However, in violation of rules and regulations, hundreds of people keep dogs as pets without following proper procedure. At present, only around 20 people hold valid licences.
An MCI official said a licence was only issued after getting statements of two neighbours and checking the dogs’ vaccinations. However, the municipal administration has failed in implementing the by-laws.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021