On the cards is a separate 'veterinary health department' with a separate budget, manpower, independent hospitals, laboratories, etc. for animals, under one roof
Aiming to make Mumbai an animal friendly city and make the animals lives easier, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is starting a full fledged veterinary department which will focus only on the health of animals, be it stray or pet animals. All animals that fall under the BMC department will be covered by this department.
Recently the general body approved this department which will soon start functioning. All facilities for both stray and pet animals wil now be provided under one roof, thereby making management easier.
Under this department, State-of-the-Art veterinary hospitals, veterinary dispensaries, sophisticated laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases (diseases that occur from animals to humans), Deonar slaughterhouse, Animal Census, Dog Control Office, Dog Castration, Dog Licence, dogs and cats crematoriums, cattle camps etc. will all be included informed Deonar slaughterhouse General Manager Dr. Yogesh Shetye
The department is being designed and managed by I A Kundan, Additional Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation (Western suburbs). Shetye further added, “Animal health is related to human health. That is why animal health can affect the health of animals and so the impact of the health of animals can also be seen in the health of human beings. More than 300 diseases among human beings are caused due to degraded animal meat, degrading animal foods, animal excretion etc. These diseases are called 'Zoonotic Diseases' and some examples are leptospirosis, rabies, anthrax, swine flu and bird flu. Therefore, it is necessary to consider veterinary and animal diseases while considering public health. There is also an emotional relationship between animals and human beings. Considering all these things, now Municipal Corporation has decided to create a separate department for veterinary matters.”
The headquarters of the Veterinary Health Department has been proposed in the new building constructed in the area of Mahapalani Veterinary Dispensary situated near the police station in Khar (W) area. On the ground floor of the building, a state-of-the-art medical facility equipped with X-ray, sonography, and a fifth laboratory has also been proposed for animal diagnosis (Zoonotic Diseases). The headquarters of this department will be based at Deonar slaughterhouse, after the construction of this headquarters.
Some of the important features of the Veterinary Health Department are:
Veterinary hospital: The state-of-the-art veterinary hospital constructed in Mahalaxmi area will also be under the Veterinary Health Department. The hospital, built on 'Build, Use and Transfer' (BOT) basis, will have an updated 'Operation Theater' with facilities such as CT scan, MRI, Sonography and X-Ray. The hospital will also have the facility of admitting 300 small animals (dogs, cats etc.) at one time.
Dog control office and animal crematorium: Under this department, four Dog Offices located in Mahalaxmi, Bandra (W), Malad (P) and Mulund (P) and are responsible for catching and castrating the stray dogs in the municipal area. Similarly, the veterinary hospital in Malad and the neighbouring cattle sheds will also fall under this department.In addition to performing funeral of the dead bodies of dogs and cats, the department will also handle the incinerators and crematoriums in Mahalaxmi, Deonar and Malad (west).
Divisional Veterinary Health Service: The current divisional Veterinary Health Service which falls under the Public Health Department will now be under this newly created department. This service mainly deals with the issuance of dog license, management of dog castration, disinfection, annual vaccination of pet and stray dogs for rabies, leptospirosis, etc.
Birds, pet shops: The Veterinary Health Department will also have the responsibility to keep a watch on the birds, pet animals puppies and shops selling the items of animals as per the guidelines given by the 'Animal Welfare Board of India'.