Published: 30th November 2021
Releasing dogs is a threat to the environment: IIT Madras employees protest against activists, vets visiting dog park
If video clips shared from the site by animal activists are to be believed, the protestors also say that releasing the stray dogs out of the dog park will be a threat
Releasing dogs is a threat to the environment. This may sound baffling for a lot of us, but this was what a placard held by a protestor inside the IIT Madras campus read. A group, believed to be staff and faculty members of the premier engineering institute, protested against a Madras High Court-appointed committee, had visited the institute's dog park to examine the condition of the dogs.
If video clips of the protest are to be believed, the protestors also say that releasing the stray dogs out of the dog park will be a threat to children, deer and the environment. "Our campus is beautiful and green with a lot of deer. However, over time, it has gotten infested with strays because dog lovers from outside started coming here and feeding them without permission," a protestor can be heard saying. "Over time, they started hunting our deer and biting our children," he said.
According to a member of the Hospital Committee at the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) Shruti Vinodh Raj, it all began when the team went to IIT Madras to inspect the condition of sick dogs. "While we were near the dog park, a group of people came with placards and started shouting at us. They said that we are defaming the institute and that the dogs must stay in the enclosure," she says. "They also said that a lot of inspections are stressing the deer population. It reached a point where we had to call the police to carry out our inspection," said Shruti, adding that the protestors had disrupted the team from taking a sick dog out for treatment.
It may be recalled that the institute had constructed an enclosure to vaccinate and sterilise the stray population on campus in September 2020. However, animal activists in the city have been up in arms ever since after IIT decided against releasing these dogs back into the campus post-sterilisation. In fact, photos of dogs rescued from the park have since gone viral — because of how pathetic their condition was.
READ ALSO : IIT Madras is not a zoo or a dog park, not their core business to maintain dogs: Madras HC's new plans for campus strays
According to the data released by the institute, 30 per cent of these dogs that were captured had died. Recently, animal activists took 14 malnourished dogs out of the enclosure to get them treated. A petition filed by animal activist Arun Prasanna against this is to be heard by the HC on December 1.