In a first, Delhi govt releases policy on animal welfare

Birth control programme for monkeys, a revised regime for sterilisation of stray dogs, and electronic chips to identify owners of deserted pets and cattle are some of the measures the Delhi government’s first policy on animal welfare recommends.

The Animal Health and Welfare Policy, 2018, also proposes a cowshed at Ghumanhera, ‘where cows will be kept along with the elderly in a unique coexistence’, was Wednesday discussed at a meeting attended by Development Minister Gopal Rai.

“There was no such policy before to consider animal welfare in its entirety, covering issuing like the menace caused by monkeys and stray dogs. We aim to keep this policy open-ended so that it can be updated from time to time,” Mr. Rai told journalists after a meeting with Department officials, animal welfare groups and veterinary experts.

The policy suggests tagging pets and cattle with electronic chips so that their owners can be identified, Mr. Rai added. It also provides for undertaking a monkey birth control programme under animal birth control (ABC) initiatives and observes that sterilisation of stray dogs under the ABC programme in Delhi through NGOs is not as per expectations.

“It should be further re-evaluated for its shortcomings and necessary measures should be taken to strengthen it,” says the policy draft.

Strengthening infrastructure through a network of veterinary hospitals, polyclinics, aviaries, helpline for distressed animal and birds, and ambulance services are other measures the policy recommends.

As per the policy, animal health and veterinary services will be strengthened through 24x7 operational polyclinics in all districts. The needs of birds will also be taken care at district-level aviaries. A veterinary hospital that will be operational round-the-clock will be inaugurated at Tis Hazari on January 16. It has been suggested that the Animal Husbandry unit of Development Department should be renamed the Animal Health and Welfare Department, Mr. Rai said, adding that efforts will also be made under the policy to make Delhi rabies-free through an effective check on stray dogs.

Setting up 12 check posts and quarantine facilities at Delhi’s borders is part of the policy. “Our successful intervention in cases of bird flu and glanders noticed in Delhi ensured that the human population was not affected,” Mr. Rai said.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 7:30:26 AM |

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