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ABC programme starts in Kochi

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LOVE FOR FELLOW BEINGS: Maneka Gandhi, MP, watching an exhibition in connection with the Animal Birth Control programme launched in the city on Sunday. Photo: H. Vibhu
LOVE FOR FELLOW BEINGS: Maneka Gandhi, MP, watching an exhibition in connection with the Animal Birth Control programme launched in the city on Sunday. Photo: H. Vibhu

Staff Reporter

In the first phase, 1,000 dogs will be sterilised

KOCHI: Kochi has become the first city in the State to implement the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme.

Maneka Gandhi, MP, handed over the first instalment of the fund for implementing the sterilisation programme for street dogs to Mayor Mercy Williams here on Sunday.

In the first phase, 1,000 dogs will be sterilised. The Animal Welfare Board of India is providing Rs. 4.5 lakh for the programme. The first instalment is Rs. 2.2 lakh.

The inaugural function was organised by the Society for Prevention of Cruelties to Animals (SPCA), city corporation and Animal Husbandry Department.

In her address, Amala Akkineni, former film actor and animal rights campaigner, said the sterilisation programme was a community programme.

Narrating her experience in organising it in Hyderabad 14 years ago, Ms. Akkineni said sterilising and vaccinating them helped to protect society.

These dogs guarded their area from being invaded by stray dogs.

After sterilisation, the dogs became docile and amiable. The role played by them in keeping at bay stray dogs was proved in Hyderabad. Earlier, dogs from faraway places used to invade the city and cause rabies outbreaks, she said.

While implementing the ABC programme, the fear in the minds of the public should be cleared, and they should be made aware of the social need for protecting street dogs. People should be made aware that it was a social welfare programme, she said.

Ms. Maneka Gandhi said that it was human beings who benefited from animal welfare programmes.

K.V. Thomas, MLA, had earlier offered Rs. 10 lakh from the MLA fund for setting up an office for the SPCA.

District Collector A.P.M. Mohammad Hanish; E.M. Sunilkumar, Chairman, Standing Committee on Town Planning of the corporation; K.V. Manoj, Chairman, Standing Committee on Tax Appeal; A.J. Babu, SPCA, Idukki; and M.R. Sethumadhavan, secretary, SPCA, Ernakulam, were present.

K.G. Sudheer, treasurer, SPCA, welcomed the gathering.

Earlier, Ms. Gandhi, Chinni Krishna, member, Animal Welfare Board of India, and Roy Thomas, Wildlife Warden, Eravikulam National Park, attended a seminar on animal welfare and related laws.

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