Protest will take place on June 22 at Mahatma Gandhi statue.

In response to Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy’s proposal to build a large number of dog pounds near burial grounds, animal rights group PETA India is staging a protest, stating that the plan will further increase the number of street animals.

According to PETA Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate, keeping dogs imprisoned in pounds will also violate the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, 2001 that require dogs to be sterilised and returned to the area. “Dogs breed so rapidly that when their territories become vacant, other dogs from neighbouring areas will move in quickly to occupy them. Meanwhile, the dogs who escape imprisonment will continue to multiply. The Voice of Stray Dogs and the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory government body operating under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, have also urged the mayor to drop the ill-conceived plans. The answer is sterilisation and adoption – not imprisonment”, said a press release issued by the organisation.

The press release also stated that the stray animal crisis will persist as long as pet stores and breeders exist, and adds that adoption of homeless pets along with animal birth control will significantly reduce the population problem.

“Pedigree dogs sold in pet shops are typically deprived of proper veterinary care as well as adequate food, exercise, love and socialisation. Because they are bred for certain exaggerated physical traits, such as droopy ears or long backs, many foreign breeds of dogs – including boxers, German shepherds and pugs – are prone to abnormally high rates of genetic and hereditary disease. Common health ailments in purebred dogs include breathing problems, cancer, heart disease, bleeding disorders, skeletal malformations and eye problems. Adopt an Indian community animal instead”, they said, referring to the commercial breeding industry.

The protest will take place at noon on June 22 at the Mahatma Gandhi Statue (opposite police headquarters), Marina Beach, Chennai. Volunteers will wear dog masks and hold signs that read: “Mayor: Dog Sterilisations, Not Dog Prisons”.

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