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Maulekhi objects to dog as leopard bait

Dehradun, Oct. 15 -- PFA Uttarakhand's Gauri Maulekhi has brought to the attention of RBS Rawat, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, the most shocking and distressing fact that the Uttarakhand Forest Department, despite being made aware on several instances, has adamantly and knowingly continued to use archaic methods and equipment such as keeping dogs in crude cage to trap leopards.She has informed him that the errant DFO, Prem Kumar of Almora, did not release the dog from a cage set up at Village Hoona, about ten kilometers from Almora city.She further pointed out that the dog is a pet that belongs to a family and has been criminally abducted by the DFO and kept in illegal captivity. Even if it were a homeless stray, or any animal other than a dog, under sections 11(1)(d), 11(1)(e), 11(1)(f) and most specifically under 11(1)(i) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, it has been prohibited to keep live animals as bait to trap any other animal. This law has no exception whatsoever. In the event of any mishap, the person authorising such an illegal confinement will also face charges under section 429 of the Indian Penal Code. Also, the leopard thus trapped in these outdated cages renders itself unfit for immediate release elsewhere, by clawing at the bars and injuring itself. Such specimens can still be seen at the Chidiapur Rescue Centre.The cat invariably pulls the bait through the bars except for the skull. She has also provided a picture of a similar cage in which the goat that was tied, was pulled by the leopard through the bars and only its skull was left in the bait compartment.She has brought to the official's attention that the WII has helped many other states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to upgrade to better, safer cages which eliminate the need for a living animal to be tied as bait.She has demanded that orders to release the dog from captivity be issued immediately and time and resources invested to upgrade the cages used by the Forest Department of Uttarakhand....

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