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Maneka stands up for dogged strays

Former Union minister Maneka Gandhi has urged the Pune Municipal Corporation to stop catching dogs haphazardly and killing them secretly.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune |
January 12, 2009 11:27:17 pm

Former Union minister Maneka Gandhi has urged the Pune Municipal Corporation to stop catching dogs haphazardly and killing them secretly. She wants the PMC to improve its Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme and has stressed the need to appoint more NGOs for the job.

Her intervention,which follows complaints from citizens about animal rights being violated,has worked. The PMC has agreed to her sugestion.

“The haphazard catching and secret killing do not achieve as much as it should,” Gandhi said in a letter to Municipal Commissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi.

In any case,the programme has not worked. There has been a rise in dog bites despite it; from 2,400 in 2006 to 3,000 in 2007. She urged the commissioner to convene a meeting of all city-based NGOs working for animal welfare and implement an effective dog sterilisation plan.

When contacted,Pardeshi said there is only one agency working for dog sterilisation now. He conceded that the civic administration has not been able to tackle the dog menace.

“Maneka Gandhi has urged us to improve the implementation of the programme. The PMC has convened a meeting of animal rights organisations. The civic body will appoint more agencies for implementing the programme,” he said.

Suggesting that the city be divided into zones and one municipal centre being given to each NGO while signing an MoU with them,Gandhi said: “The NGOs will use this place as the surgical centre for the sterilisation programme,for which they can be paid by the municipal body after showing the genitalia /ovaries per case.”

She suggested that the corporation have a vehicle for each zone to enable the NGOs to catch and then return the dogs within the zone after sterilisation.

Blue Cross of Chennai has agreed to send its members to train dog-catchers and also give equipment for humane catching,she said. Gandhi also suggested the names of NGOs like SPCA,People for Animals,Pawspack,Leela Parulekar or her representative,Manisha Joglekar and her group

In 2005,too,Gandhi had expressed unhappiness over PMC’s ways to tackle the dog menace. In 2007,she had described the city as a “living hell” for animals.

Pune’s representative of People for Animals,Manoj Oswal,also stressed the need for a proper method of dog management.

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