Stray dog menace up as sterilisation drive stops

Stray dog menace up as sterilisation drive stops

NGOs stop neutering canines in protest over animal welfare board diktat

Stray dog menace up as sterilisation drive stops

The Animal Birth Control programme in Bengaluru has halted for more than a week now, fuelling concerns that it may lead to unabated growth in stray dog population and increase in canine bites.

As per the Supreme Court guidelines, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) cannot cull the dogs but sterilise them to contain their population. It has engaged five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) — Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Sarvodaya, Animal Rights Fund (ARF), Richa Agarwal Foundation and Vets for Animals — to carry out the birth control programme.

Now, four of these NGOs have suspended the sterilisation drive in protest after the Animal Welfare Board of India cracked down on them. The board insists the NGOs should have sufficient number of kennels to keep the dogs for three days once they were neutered. It said the NGOs would cause cruelty to animals if they did not fulfil the criteria, said a source in the BBMP.

The ARF and Vets for Animals do not have any kennels. Sarvodaya and Richa Agarwal Foundation have kennels but they catch, neuter, vaccinate and release the dogs the same day, which is against the board’s rules.

CUPA is the only NGO that meets the board’s criteria. On average, the NGOs neutered 50-55 dogs a day, which has stopped now.

Dr Maheshwara Gowda, Joint Director of the BBMP’s Animal Husbandry Department, conceded that except CUPA, other NGOs had suspended the operations.

“I had a meeting with the NGOs and asked them to resume work. I hope the sterilisation programme starts soon,” he said.