The ongoing dog sterilisation programme being serviced by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is engulfed in a fresh controversy.
Citing a slew of objections, the chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India has written to the UT Administrator urging him to stop the programme with immediate effect. The Municipal Corporation authorities dismissed the AWBI objections and said they would continue with the project, but also indicated that there were other alternatives.
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In his letter, AWBI chairman Major General (retd) Dr R M Kharb has urged UT Administrator Kaptan Singh Solanki to stop the dog sterilisation programme run by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Udgir, with immediate effect, saying that the programme is being run in “appalling” conditions.
Kharb has also suggested that as an interim measure, another animal welfare organisation should be selected to carry out the programme. He has demanded that the SPCA authorities submit all records of surgeries, present condition of the sterilised dogs, area of pick-up and release.
The MC runs the outsourced sterilisation programme at the moment. Following the AWBI letter, Mayor Poonam Sharma held a meeting on Monday, attended by 18 councillors. Later in the evening, they met Solanki at his residence and proposed that the programme should either be handed over to the administration, or run by a team comprising officials from the MC, administration, with doctors from NGOs supervising the sterilisation as an alternative.
Speaking to Newsline, Sharma said, “We have managed to sterilise 1,382 dogs in the last three months, which has gone beyond expectations and has curbed the dog menace. If they (AWBI) have issues with our process, they can visit the animal birth control unit in Sector 38 with our officials and find that there are no lapses. Till then, we will continue our sterilisation process.”
Earlier this year, in the light of the failure of SPCA in tackling the stray dog menace and allegations of inefficiency, the UT Administration had decided to form its own entity for animal welfare, which was in alignment with the Animal Welfare Board of India. However, the welfare board was not to immediately carry out sterilisation of dogs and, the municipal corporation was assigned the project on a temporary basis.
The MC then decided to allocate the project to the SPCA Udgir, Maharashtra, for a period of one year in April, citing their efficient dog sterilisation work in Nasik.