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463 dogs caught; 125 stalls removed as part of drive

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GETS MOMENTUM: Roadside eat-outs being removed at Kalasipalyam in Bangalore on Monday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
GETS MOMENTUM: Roadside eat-outs being removed at Kalasipalyam in Bangalore on Monday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Staff Reporter

Four NGOs withdraw from Animal Birth Control Programme

BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)'s drive against stray dogs picked up momentum with 463 dogs being caught on Monday.

As part of dealing with the problem in a more comprehensive manner, the civic body also shut down 125 unauthorised food stalls, meat and poultry shops, in different parts of the city, including Malleswaram, Gandhinagar, Chickpet, Shivajinagar and Yeshwanthpur.

The four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the contentious Animal Birth Control Programme CUPA, Karuna, Krupa and Animal Rights Fund (ARF) have decided to withdraw from it.

Suparna Ganguly of CUPA told The Hindu that the decision was based on the actions of the BBMP and the Health Ministry.

"Health Minister R. Ashok has set a target of catching 1,000 dogs in a month. He also seems to be in favour of culling these dogs. We see no point in continuing with the programme in such a scenario," she said.

Poornima Harish of ARF said: "The ABC programme works only if the dogs caught are sterilised and left back onto the street. But if the dogs are being killed, then continuing with the programme is a waste of public money."

Sources in the BBMP said that the dogs had not been put to sleep yet as there was still space to accommodate them in shelters. While the BBMP claims that only unhealthy and unsterilised dogs have been caught, at least 80 per cent of the animals brought to CUPA's shelter have been sterilised, Ms. Ganguly said.

Dog bite cases

Even as about 60 dogcatchers (they all underwent a training session on Sunday) were at it since early morning, six cases of dog bites were reported at Kodihalli primary health centre on Airport Road. Sonali (35) and Manimegala (11), both residents of Domlur, were victims of dog bites. Guruprasad (9), Dorai (5), Prem Kumar (24) and Jayamma (45), all residents of Kodihalli, were treated at the health centre for second grade dog bites.

BBMP officials were yet to visit the place. However, local people, mostly slum dwellers, were nonchalant about the dog bites. "There are many dogs and at least 13 cases were reported last month. There is nothing unusual about it," said a nurse at the health centre.

The two dog bite victims from Kodihalli, Guruprasad and Dorai, live in the slum behind the health centre. While these two cases were reported today, many have been bitten earlier.

Thyagaraja, a petty shop owner, Swami Velu, a vendor, and five-year-old Malathi were the earlier victims in the area.

Dogs, not sterilised, basked in the afternoon sun near mounds of garbage on the vacant land nearby.

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