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Home >> Dog lovers seek policy on strays

Dog lovers seek policy on strays

Activists to approach HC over tardy implementation of birth control rules

Aiswarya Ananthapadmanabhan

Pune, August 19: Animal rights' activists in the city, upset about the
ineffective implementation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) (ABC) rules
passed in 2001, are planning to file a case in the Bombay High Court this
month-end. They feel the implementation of ABC rules violate the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals Act and are seeking a policy which will regulate the
procedure of dealing with stray dogs, dog shelters and identification which
will benefit citizens and the dogs.

"Even though there is a Supreme Court case related to stray dogs, we plan to
seek a stay on the release of unclaimed dogs till the verdict is out," said
researcher Meghna Unniya who has been studying the programmes.
"Implementation of the ABC rules is faulty," said activist Shobhana
Rajendran. The PMC and the PCB act on complaints and catch strays, hand them
over to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ( SPCA), Blue Cross
and other animal welfare organisations where they are sterilised, hand them
back to the civic body which has to release them in the place they were

The rules prescribe that an animal welfare organisation representative be
present when the civic squad goes dog catching. "The squad has to make
announcements as it goes about. But there is no identification of the dogs
nor is there any documentation," said Unniya.

Negligence in implementing procedures leads to animal cruelty. " After
sterilisation, the dogs are dropped off randomly, especially at traffic
zones like Hadapsar, Nagar Road and Sadhu Vaswani Chowk. Releasing them in a
strange place affects them psychologically, and sterilised dogs are not
welcomed into a new pack as procreation is the main motive of group
behaviour. Many of these shunned dogs die of hunger, public fury or
accidents," said Unniya.

The laxity has a long-term impact on re-vaccination. "We are keen on
re-vaccination but if there is no identification the process is difficult.
For example, the PCB catches the dogs and hands them over to the SPCA. While
SPCA doctors notch the sterilized dogs in the ears after the operation, the
PCB personnel do not have any mechanism to identify the dog," said SPCA
member N D Salunkhe.

"Micro-chipping is an expensive solution. The procedure involves providing
the dogs with computer microchips bearing all details that can be fed into a
computer and facilitate identification," he added.

Publication : IE; Section : Mumbai; Pg : 3; Date : 21/8/07