A survey by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in 2009 confirmed more than 25,000 stray dogs in the city, and a target was set to sterilise all of them by 2010.
Five years since then, while dogbite cases and the number of dogs in the city has increased three times, the ground reality remains that not a single dog has been sterilised under the Rs 2-crore project of the Ludhiana MC.
A list of excuses is given by MC officials for failing to even start the project. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) rules and regulations for animal birth control tops the list, with MC stating that it was ‘too hard to find a company registered with AWBI’ to sterilise the dogs.
AWBI has also made it mandatory to have a two-room set along with kennels to ensure proper post-operative care of dogs. Construction of this set has finally kicked off in Haibowal near vet hospital after work orders were issued on March 4 this year.
However, MC is not yet able to fix any date by which the work will start and the Hyderabad-based company, Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development, which will charge Rs 765 per dog from MC will arrive with its team of catchers, doctors and vans in the city and sterilise the dogs.
‘Hands tied… After 5 years, we found this Hyderabad firm’
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Talking to Newsline, Dr Y P Singh, senior vet officer, Ludhiana MC, alleged that rules enforced by AWBI were the major roadblock in delaying the project for more than five years. “We accept that the number of dogs and dog-bite cases have increased since 2009 survey. But our hands are also tied as there are hardly any firms in northern region registered with AWBI. After efforts of five years, we have found this Hyderabad-based firm. Rules also say that firm should have experience of sterilising more than 20,000 dogs which too is hard to find,” he said.
Singh added that three rooms and 20 kennels were under construction on land near the vet hospital, Haibowal, but “work had just started and it will take months for the team to arrive”. “I cannot commit any date or month. Work just started a week back,” he said.
Dogs will be kept for a minimum of three days in kennels post-operation as per rules of AWBI. MC is spending Rs 40 lakh on construction of rooms and kennels while all other logistics like vans and medical kits will be brought by the firm. MC has also set a target of 1,000 dogs per month for the firm