Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The city Corporation has decided to strengthen the sterilisation programme for stray dogs and extend it to more veterinary hospitals in the city following a recent Supreme Court verdict against killing of stray dogs.

A meeting of the Director, Animal Husbandry, Mayor and members of the Corporation health standing committee held here recently decided to equip veterinary hospitals at PMG junction and Thiruvallam to handle sterilisation of stray dogs. This is besides the sterilisation and laparoscopic unit facilities available at the Pettah Veterinary Hospital.

“The apex court order specifies that we will have to focus on sterilisation of stray dogs rather than killing them,” said Corporation health standing committee chairman G.R. Anil. He said the Suraksha integrated rabies control project launched by the Corporation faced some difficulties because a section of residents objected to the release of the sterilised animals in their locality.

The meeting also decided to involve more veterinary surgeons of the government veterinary hospital in the sterilisation programme on rotation basis. Around eight veterinary surgeons were now involved in the project besides 16 animal handlers. The Corporation also recently increased the honorarium for animal handlers from Rs.20 to Rs.50 per captured dog.

Meanwhile, Corporation officials said only around 10 dogs could be neutered with the available facilities. “It takes around one hour to sterilise a dog. With facilities and manpower available now, we can sterilise only up to 10 dogs a day. For the same reason we cannot capture more dogs every day,” said Corporation health officer D. Sreekumar.

He said more number of dogs could be sterilised once the veterinary surgeons attained sufficient practice in laproscopic surgery.