Published: 20th September 2021
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
On Friday, the Madras High Court had asked the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that the 14 sick dogs in the institute's enclosure receive proper treatment
Divesting India's top engineering institute of the responsibility of caring for dogs that are on campus, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) will no longer need to care for them courtesy a direction from the Madras High Court. As a result of that, the dogs residing in IIT Madras' year-old 'dog park' will be receiving some external care.
On Friday, the Madras High Court asked the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that the 14 sick dogs in the institute's enclosure receive proper treatment. Chennai-based NGO People For Cattle in India (PFCI), the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) have been asked to facilitate the treatment.
"IIT campus is not a dog park, nor a zoo, nor is it the IIT's core business to devote its resources or energy towards maintaining dogs, including pets that residents in the city may abandon at the IIT gates," the court noted. It also said that "The State should also ensure that IIT does not become a dumping ground for abandoned dogs and some measures in such regard need to be put in place."
Animal activist Arun Prasanna had filed a PIL earlier this year (on behalf of PFCI) asking the institute to solve its stray dog issue in a 'dignified manner'. In late 2020, activists had cried foul over the institute creating a huge makeshift enclosure to sterilise dogs on campus. Many alleged that a lot of dogs who were captured were never let out. The institute had said that they had built enclosures to care for the strays on campus which included a feeding system among other things.
In July 2021, IITM authorities said that 45 out of the 186 captured strays had died, while 14 of them were ill. "We are taking them to the hospital tomorrow," Prasanna told EdexLive on Monday. "We will ensure that there will not be any more mortality," he said. At the same time, the IIT was told that it has no responsibility to maintain stray dogs or pets on the campus. "While 50 dogs will be released on campus, the rest will be put up for adoption," said Prasanna.
The petition will be heard next on November 11.