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NGO pulls up BMC for cruelty to animals

Monday, June 19, 2017
By Raju Vernekar

The Plant and Animals Welfare Society, Mumbai (PAWS-Mumbai) has alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) staff catching stray dogs for sterilisation has been handling them with absolute cruelty and also there are NGOs handling this job without mandatory approval from the BMC.

In a letter (No. PAWS-Mumbai/512-2017/ABC-DCI dated June 7, 2017, to the BMC’s Executive Health Officer Dr. Padmaja Keskar, PAWS-Mumbai, Secretary Sunish Subramanian Kunju has alleged that the dog catchers catch pregnant and small dogs for sterilisation. The dogs are caught by the net and are dragged to the van. This causes injuries and bleeding from body and mouth of the animal.

PAWS has taken cognizance of the complaint received from animal lovers from Bhandup (West) in North Eastern Mumbai, who have alleged that the 'Dog Van No. MH04 FK1734', carrying BMC’s logo, has been catching pregnant and small dogs for sterilisation, in a very cruel manner. They have also forwarded photographs and video clipping of the incident as evidence.

“Usually the name of BMC is painted on the dog van. Instead of this, the name of the NGO involved should be displayed to make it accountable. Similarly, the NGOs who are not directly involved in the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programs should be involved in this work, to ensure transparency, since ABC is funded by the BMC and Government agencies,” said Sunish Subramanian Kunju.

“As per the Animal Birth Control (Dogs)Rules, 2001, the dogs have to be caught humanely. Otherwise, it amounts to a violation of the rules and the offence is punishable under section 38(3) and sec. 11(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Besides, it should be made clear whether volunteers engaged in this work are misusing BMC’s name or not,” he added.

Kunju has also sent the copies of his complaint to Ravi Kumar (President, Animal Welfare Board of India), Member Secretary (State Animal Welfare Board, Maharashtra Government), Commissioner (Animal Husbandry Department), Chairman (Committee to Monitor Animal Welfare Laws in Maharashtra), BMC Commissioner and Maneka Gandhi (Chairperson - People for Animals). When contacted Dr. Keskar said that she will look into the matter.

In Mumbai Dog Sterilisation centres are located in different parts of the city and suburbs including Malad, Marine Lines, Mahalaxmi, Parel, Dadar, Andheri and Deonar. While the cases of stray dog attacks have gone up in certain parts of Mumbai and adjoining areas, early this year, the Supreme Court had stated that nobody can destroy stray dogs in entirety although culling of stray dogs can be permitted.

Over one lakh stray dogs are sterilised and vaccinated against rabies every year under the Animal Birth Control (2001) Dog Rules. The Animal Birth Control Programme is currently being implemented in over 60 cities all over India, including major metros like Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jodhpur and Kalimpong (West Bengal). In Tamil Nadu & Goa, since 2007, the Animal Birth Control and Anti-Rabies Vaccination Programme has been successfully implemented for the entire state.

Did you know

  • In Mumbai Dog Sterilisation centres are located in different parts of the city and suburbs including Malad, Marine Lines, Mahalaxmi, Parel, Dadar, Andheri and Deonar.
     
  • Over one lakh stray dogs are sterilised and vaccinated against rabies every year under the Animal Birth Control (2001) Dog Rules.
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