Misconceptions are hurdles for spay campaign

Experts emphasise the need for a safe, compassionate and effective sterilisation programme for strays
Last Updated 26 February 2019, 14:14 IST

World Spay Day, observed on the last Tuesday of every February, saw the members of CJ Memorial Trust and CABC (Citizens of Animal Birthday Control) spreading awareness about the suffering and trauma undergone by animals due to uncontrolled breeding.

It is estimated that under 20 per cent of all pets in the US are spayed or neutered whereas it’s probably only about 10 to 15 per cent in India. Apart from the impact on the health of the pets, it translates to high shelter costs, expensive medical care, increased cost of euthanasia as well as unnecessary suffering of animals.

Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, who has been working towards spreading the message about the importance of spaying, says that pet parents putting forth arguments like ‘just one litter’ and ‘it’s natural for animals to want to mate’ as well as their concerns about the impact of neutering on the animal’s personality and health are issues.

So on World Spay Day, teams from CJ Memorial Trust and CABC started the #SpayItForward campaign; which involves the BBMP, veterinarians and pet parents.

The social media campaign encourages people to neuter their pets, spread the message and help community dogs as well. Contests include a photo competition for parents with their pets. The prize will be free neutering for the community dogs in the winner’s area. The campaign also tries to encourage the BBMP to set up a safe, compassionate and effective sterilisation programme.

To rope in the veterinarians, the teams will conduct live videos on Facebook with leading vets who will answer pet parent’s queries and concerns. This will happen throughout the week.

“While the Karnataka vet council isn’t too thrilled about our initiative for more spaying and neutering, some leading vets in the city have offered to give a 20 per cent discount on spay and neuter surgeries throughout the month,” adds Priya. “Many have also offered a limited number of free surgeries for rescues or community dogs too.”

The groups are also planning to host sessions on mercy and compassion for animals at all veterinarian colleges. And the BBMP has been quite helpful so far. In an attempt to control the street dog population and promote safe, compassionate and fast-paced animal birth control surgeries, BBMP has announced fresh ABC tenders for eight Bengaluru zones. This will make it mandatory for all vets to be trained under WVS (World Veterinary Service). A dog census is also being planning so that a better strategy can be employed.

Good initiative but more needs to be done, say activists
BBMP partnering with the activists is a good sign but they are yet to get in touch with the Department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, and the minister, to ensure better implementation of existing laws. “Unfortunately, no one from our group too has been able to get in touch with him till date.”

(Published 26 February 2019, 13:58 IST)

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