Street dog sterilisation comes to a halt in city

HC directive to stop activities till conditions at Vandithadam are improved

The city Corporation’s Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme has come to a standstill following a High Court direction to stop street dog sterilisation activities at its facility at Vandithadam here until the conditions at the centre are improved.

The renovation works at the centre which began last month are expected to continue for at least two more months, during which period the regular sterilisation activities will not take place.

“The shed in which sterilisation activities were carried out has been demolished and a new facility is being constructed. Meanwhile, we are now handling only emergency cases of rabies-infected dogs at the Government Veterinary Hospital in Pettah. Another sterilisation facility was proposed to be set up at Pettah, but the authorities of a temple located nearby had earlier got a stay order against any ABC-related activity as there is a dispute involving the land,” said Corporation’s veterinarian Sreerag.

Drop in stray dog bites

After many false starts, during which private agencies contracted for the project left it before the process could even begin, the ABC programme in the city Corporation attained some level of stability only in August 2018, before which the programme had even come to a halt for about seven months. The steady numbers of sterilisations seem to have had some effect as the number of stray dog bites reported from the city have come down drastically over the past few years.

The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has spent ₹94.63 lakh out of the ₹1.05 crore allocated over the past two years for its ABC programme, making it the local body with one of the highest spendings on sterilising street dogs.

Amicus curiae report

The amicus curiae report on the ABC facility at Vandithadam, presented before the High Court in November last year, had noted that the facility is totally ill-equipped to perform the task it is expected to. Coming down heavily on the civic body authorities, the report said that the more than adequate land available with the Corporation has not been utilised in any manner to meet even the basic needs of the centre. The report had said that the dogs were kept in inhuman and harsh conditions, following which the High Court ordered the Corporation to take steps to improve it.

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