Reyaz Rashid

Wildlife Department’s use of mother dog as leopard bait sparks outcry in Baramulla Village

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Animal activists outraged; trap dog released after SSP Baramulla’s intervention

Baramulla: Outrage has erupted in Gantamulla village of North Kashmir’s Baramulla District following the wildlife department’s controversial decision to use a mother dog and her five puppies as bait in an attempt to capture a roaming leopard on Monday evening, violating animal rights norms in the process.

According to locals, the village had been grappling with the presence of a leopard for several days, prompting them to alert wildlife officials. However, the response took a distressing turn when a team of officers, led by a senior official, set up a cage with the mother dog on one side, endangering her life.

Animal rights activist Tanzila Imtiyaz from Baramulla expressed her outrage, stating, “The wildlife department should be ashamed of this act. It is unacceptable to use a helpless animal as bait. Just imagine if a human were treated in such a manner, how would they feel? These animals also have emotions, and treating them in such a way is unethical.”

“This action not only violates animal rights but also flouts Rule 11 of the PCA Animal Rights,” she lamented.

Critics argued that alternative baiting methods such as hanging mutton or dead animals like chickens should have been employed instead.

Witnesses described the heart-wrenching scene of the mother dog’s puppies roaming around the cage late into the night, seemingly unable to comprehend their mother’s confinement, while she appeared bewildered by her sudden captivity.

Echoing these sentiments, Animal Protectors Baramulla head Advocate Nafia Wani emphasized the severity of the situation, saying, “Upon learning that the wildlife department put a mother of five pups into a cage for the capture of the leopard, we promptly contacted SSP Baramulla for intervention and also sent a mail to Maneka Gandhi. It’s important to highlight that using a live animal as bait to catch the leopard not only violates ethical standards but also amounts to cruelty to animals. It’s imperative to ensure that such actions are not repeated. I urge the authorities to take strict action against those responsible for this act of cruelty and violation of ethical standards.”

On the directions of SSP Baramulla, a team of police station Sheeri reached the spot to rescue the mother dog but local youth had by the time released the dog from the trap.

The incident has sparked widespread outrage, with residents and activists demanding accountability and immediate action to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Expressing their dismay, locals called for swift and decisive action against the responsible officers, emphasizing the cruelty of using live animals in such situations, which is prohibited by law.

They urged the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and register a case against the officers involved, highlighting the need to explore humane alternatives such as live meat, dead chickens, or perfumes for future wildlife capture operations.

When contacted Wildlife Warden North Kashmir Intisar Suhail termed the incident unethical. “I will look into it and stern action will follow against the defaulters.”


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