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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Civic body to seek NGOs' support

Special Correspondent

Bid to combat stray dog menace


Meeting with NGOs tomorrow

Attempt to revive animal birth control programme


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The City Corporation is considering the option of enlisting the support of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for a canine sterilisation programme aimed at combating stray dog menace.

The move follows an order issued by Ombudsman for Local Self-government Institutions M.N. Krishnan earlier this month. The order, based on two private petitions and a case taken by the Ombudsman on its own, had directed the Secretary, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, to convene a meeting of organisations prepared to take up the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme for sterilisation of stray dogs.

The local body had come under pressure from city residents who had been facing the threats posed by the burgeoning stray dog population. Dog bite cases had been reported from several parts of the city. The merger of five suburban panchayats with the city last year had aggravated the problem for the City Corporation. The stray dog menace is especially high in the peripheral areas annexed from the Kazhakuttam and Kudappanakunnu panchayats.

Corporation Secretary K. Biju said a meeting would be convened on June 27 to seek the opinion of NGOs willing to support the ABC programme. He said the Animal Welfare Board of India was funding NGOs involved in the ABC programme in many cities. The Corporation also hoped to make use of the services of dogcatchers engaged by the organisations. The civic body's own team of trained dogcatchers had left following a dispute over the rate for catching dogs.

Mr. Biju said the Corporation had initiated moves to post veterinary surgeons trained in sterilisation of animals at veterinary centres in the city.

The absence of trained dogcatchers and veterinary surgeons had crippled the ABC programme launched by the Corporation. The laparoscopic equipment installed at the veterinary hospital at Pettah is idling due to the lack of trained doctors. The sterilisation programme is also hampered by the absence of basic data about the stray dog population or the male-female ratio.

Previous bids by the Corporation to involve NGOs in the ABC programme had drawn a blank following the failure to come to an agreement on the modalities.

Under the ABC Programme, female dogs are sterilised in a simple surgical operation to remove the uterus and ovaries. The animal is administered anaesthesia and the surgery is conducted using the basic veterinary surgeon's tools.

The dog is released after five days. The Corporation is often caught between the public demand to slaughter stray dogs and the legal ban on killing them. Under the ABC guidelines, sterilised dogs are to be released in the areas from where they were captured. But in many localities, citizens vehemently oppose the release of sterilised dogs.

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