The dog-human conflict in India

The news:

The last paragraph:

In the typical fashion for economists, we conclude by proposing both short and long-run solutions. Long-run changes are structural, involving education and changing attitudes towards private property and responsibilities. Of course, these changes take time. In the short run, regardless of which side of the street dog issue one is on, the most efficient solution to managing the conflict is to allow those predisposed to dog welfare to undertake actions without interference and hostility. This, along with the existing neuter and release programme, and policy measures that encourage adoption of local breeds, should help bring down the street dog population. Dogs are eventually “people” animals and any solution to a dog-related problem has to centre around people.

Photo credit: Praveen Jain: The Print

The article concludes with pertinent points:

Long term efforts:

  1. Education especially in schools
  2. Changing attitudes towards ownership of private properties and responsibilities

Short term efforts (actually, this is also long term):

  1. Letting the animal welfare NGOs do their work without interference and hostility

Existing efforts – India already has their Capture-Sterilise-Return programmes which are ongoing.

All of the above is what our country (particularly the lawmakers) can learn from, if they are interested, that is.

So just before GE15 (our previous general elections), we wrote open letters to various politicians. We also wrote to the particular ministers after the elections when they were appointed to their respective portfolios. What we propose was:

  1. To spare the ear-notch animals (who are already neutered) from capture-and-kill. That is all we asked for. We did not ask for money, we did not ask for effort on their part. Just please do not capture the ear-notched animals. Our letters were ignored by the politicians, and later, the minister of local government.
  2. To introduce humanitarian education in our national school curriculum which includes lessons on compassion to street animals. Our letter to both the education and deputy education minister were ignored too.

So as always, where do we stand then?

It is totally up to us, the people to do what we feel is right by the street animals.

Do not wait for the politicians to change the laws or enact new laws. It might be an incredibly long wait!

Bak kata pepatah Melayu, seperti menunggu kucing bertanduk!