Authorities in Delhi are rounding up stray dogs and moving them to shelters ahead of the G20 summit this weekend.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has not directly linked the removal of stray dogs to the summit, stating that the canines are being picked up “only on an urgent need basis”. However, ambulances being used for the roundup of strays that were seen by Reuters displayed “On Duty G-20” boards.
The national capital territory of Delhi has over 60,000 stray dogs, according to government data. They are often fed and doted upon by many of its 20 million residents, but instances of them attacking people are not uncommon.
Animal activists say the MCD is capturing stray dogs “in an inhumane manner” without using methods like “net catching or hand catching” mandated by guidelines. They have also alleged that the dogs are being taken to overcrowded and unhygienic shelters.
The MCD has denied these allegations, saying the captured dogs are being tracked and will be released back from where they were taken. However, it has not given a timeframe for their release.
The G20 summit will be attended by world leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, and other countries. It is the biggest-ever gathering of world leaders in the Indian capital.
The removal of stray dogs has sparked a debate in India, with some people supporting the move and others criticizing it as cruel and unnecessary.
Those who support the move argue that it is necessary to ensure the safety of delegates attending the summit. They also say that stray dogs can be a nuisance and can spread diseases.
Those who oppose the move argue that it is cruel to round up stray dogs and take them to shelters. They also say that the removal of stray dogs will only displace them and make them more likely to attack people.
The MCD has said that it is working with animal welfare groups to ensure the welfare of the captured dogs. However, it remains to be seen how the dogs will be treated after the G20 summit.