CHENNAI: The permanent committee, constituted by the southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) to protect wildlife inside the IIT Madras campus, on Thursday eased restrictions on feeding stray dogs.
This comes following concerns raised by animal lovers both within the campus and outside. A delegation of residents and students had met Chennai Wildlife Warden CH Padma, who is part of the committee, to record some of their objections to the circular-cum-notice issued by the Estate Manager of IIT Madras restricting feeding stray dogs to five designated areas in a campus that is spread over an area of 250 hectares.
The wildlife warden immediately took note of concerns and held a committee meeting, where it was decided to revise some of the restrictions imposed. Padma told The New Indian Express that feeding areas have been increased.
There are now 14 feeding areas instead of five. Besides, home cooked food has been permitted. In the circular, which came into force from September 15, it was stated that the dogs are to be fed with pelleted dog food only.
Meanwhile, Blue Cross of India has also written to the IIT Madras registrar on the circular issued based on an article in The New Indian Express titled "IIT-M bars unauthorised feeding of stray dogs, introduces regulations”.
Blue Cross official S Vinod Kumar said: "It has been known to all that dogs are territorial animals and the regulation will clearly result in many dogs going hungry or starving since dogs tend to remain in their territories. Also, allowing only five feeding spots in such a vast place like IIT-Madras is definitely inadequate. As the ‘custodian’ of the animals inside the vast and sprawling campus, IIT-Madras has the duty and responsibility to see that animals’ rights and welfare protected under Section 3 and provisions of Section 11(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 are not violated."
Kumar also said feeding only pelletised food is not recommended since long term use of dry food damages the kidneys.