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IIT Madras submits report to AWBI on measures to ‘reduce stray dog menace’, after the Welfare Board orders investigation

The IIT Madras administration on Wednesday said that it has submitted a detailed report on its remedial measures implemented ‘to protect wildlife and reduce stray dog menace’ to the Animal Welfare Board of India. This was after the AWBI asked the IIT and the Tamil Nadu government to investigate the institute’s animal sterilisation programme.

“IIT Madras is addressing all the issues in accordance with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) norms. Some parties or outside agencies with vested interests have made false allegations and have obstructed the Administration from implementing the recommendations of the NGT-nominated Permanent Committee,” the institute said in a statement. Previously, students and alumni had alleged that the institute was capturing already sterilised dogs in the pretext of sterilisation and that they weren’t released back to campus. Even though EdexLive had previously written to the institute seeking a comment on this, the query went unanswered.

The institute now says that a high-power team including representation from the TN Animal Welfare Board visited the campus on October 19. “They had also inspected the shelter and the infrastructure facilities in which the stray/feral/sick/old dogs were kept for behavioral observation and care,” it says. It also adds that the stray dog population on campus is a menace to the deers and blackbucks. “There has been an alarming decrease in the wildlife population on campus, mainly due to mauling and trauma due to injury. Students, residents, children, and motorists are also getting chased and bitten by groups of feral dogs. Due to their increased numbers, the dogs are often found in classrooms and academic buildings, and students are especially finding it difficult to continue their research at labs during late hours for fear of being chased by packs of feral dogs,” it says.

Stating the same, the institute had recently set up feeding zones and had asked its residents to get dog feeder cards to feed the strays on specific hours. They were also prohibited from feeding the canines anywhere except the designated zones. It had recently released a statement, where it said that those who violate these rules three times in a row, will be asked to vacate their accommodation on campus.