Animal rights welcome court’s verdict stopping poisoning, shooting down of dogs

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Zubair Qureshi

The animal rights activists and civil society organizations have welcomed the Islamabad High Court’s recent order in which the court has directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) not to shoot or poison stray dogs, rather devise a policy in this regard.

This is yet another landmark decision by the IHC and will go a long way in protecting the poor creatures, said Faryal Haq Nawaz an animal rights activist while talking to Pakistan Observer on Sunday.

A day earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had issued notices to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) in a petition that challenged poisoning or shooting of dogs by the sanitation staff of the CDA.

The court has directed the IWMB and the CDA to explain why they had not yet formulated a policy in this regard despite clear orders given by the court last year.

The IWMB has not come up with a clear policy over the poor creatures in clear violation of the direction given by the IHC, Chief Justice Minallah observed in the order issued Saturday.

In his order CJ Athar Minallah has directed the IWMB chairperson to explain why the board had failed to come up with a policy to protect stray dogs from being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering.

In June 2020, the IHC had stopped the CDA and the MCI in June 2020 from shooting and poisoning stray dogs. The court has also ordered the IWMB to devise a policy to neutralize stray dogs.

Before the IHC’s verdict, staff of the sanitation directorate of the civic agency would either use shotguns or poison to kill stray dogs in the residential areas of Islamabad on the pretext that they are a nuisance and health risk to citizens.

The sanitation directorate would kill about two dozen stray dogs daily, said an official of the sanitation directorate, however adding after the court’s orders the civic body was not in a position to take action against these dogs.

However in the recent petition against poisoning and shooting stray dogs filed by Advocate Saira Mehreen Abbasi a few days back, the court has sought replies from the relevant departments.

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