COVID-19: Food for thought for stray animals


New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) In a bid to tackle the global outbreak of coronavirus outbreak, the nation entered a three-week lockdown till mid-April. While human beings have several ways to insulate themselves to survive the lockdown, it can be less than smooth experience for our animals during such testing time.
Thousands of cats, dogs and other stray animals depend on the mandis, food chains, restaurants and local community support who feed them. With people under isolation and closure of such establishments, there is a shortfall in food supplies for such animals.
On the issue, Member of Parliament and prominent animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi took to the social media recently and requested everyone to continue feeding the stray animals and veterinary services to help them survive.
The most common problem faced by good samaritans trying to feed the animals are the rules and restrictions at the time of social distancing and isolation.
To address the issue feeder passes have been made available by designated authorities across the country throughout the lockdown period wherein any dog feeder can go to their district DCP office and get such passes.
On a more positive note, there are brighter sides when it comes to the causes of our furry buddies as there are have a remarkable dip in the number of accidents, harassment cases owing to deserted streets. “We are at a zero rate for accidental casualties during this period. From receiving 100 cases a day, we have reached such scale, because there are no people on the road, and animals are not being run over. So, it has proved to be amazingly positive for animal causes.
We are not catching any harassment cases. So, it is a good change for animals. They are really living freely,” says Niharika Kashyap, animal rights activist and Counsel to People For Animals.
During this time if it is a negative ratio for accidental deaths, we have a little high ratio for the sick animals. Because we are getting more news of a sick animal found, lack of food due to restaurants being shut down, Kashayp adds. But animals amazingly survive if they are well on their four legs, she quips.
Since the novel coronavirus outbreak which has killed thousands of people globally in just a matter of months, animals have been in the news for a variety of reasons. The WHO maintained there is no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats have infected humans with Covid-19 to allay any rumors. SO give a helping hand if you can, leave some water and fruit for the birds on your terraces and driveways, give as many left overs as you can to stray animals or better yet, if you can feed even those around your home you’ll find a little bit goes a long way.

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