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Street dogs in Erode caught for animal birth control operation

Karthik Madhavan



CRUEL TREATMENT: Dogs at the Vendipalayam dump yard. — PHOTO: M. GOVARTHAN

ERODE: Finally, the Erode Municipality, it appears, has started biting the bullet in controlling the dog menace on the streets of the textile town. As a first step, the civic body on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning engaged persons to catch dogs roaming on the streets to perform birth control operations.

Four dogcatchers led by Gopal of Arakkonam caught about 25 dogs, both male and female, and took them to the municipality's dump yard at Vendipalayam. They caught the dogs from on and around Power House Road and SKC Road.The municipality took the dogs in a lorry to the dump yard, where they were housed in a dingy room. A Health Inspector said the operations would be performed at a room at the dump yard itself.

He said the civic body has bought two new steel tables, cotton and a few medicines for the dogs. The civic body was spending around Rs. 400 on a dog, from catching to post-operative treatment. It is learnt that the civic body has allotted Rs. 4 lakh towards animal birth control (ABC) operation.

The process appears to be in violation of the ABC notification issued by the Union Government on December 24, 2001.

Besides, it seems that the dog catching has not gone without cruelty. For, on Thursday when this reporter visited the shelter where the dogs were kept locked in a small room prior to operation, their legs were tied.

It was tied in such a way that either the right fore leg and left hind leg or the left fore leg and right hind leg were tied together. The dogs' mouths were also tied using jute thread. This it appears is in violation of the above-mentioned notification. Section 7(4) of the notification says, "The dogs shall be captured by using humane methods such as lassoing or soft-loop animal catchers such as those prescribed under the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty (Capture of Animals) Rules, 1979." Though the dogs might have been caught the same way, its treatment after capturing leaves much to be desired. As per the notification, post-operation the dogs are supposed to be treated and fed for two days. At Vendipalayam where the dogs are kept at present the prescriptions in the notification are nothing but luxury. And, they were transported in a lorry and not any exclusive vehicle, as mentioned in the notification.

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