HC appoints Advocate Commissioner for surprise inspection of dog pounds

The Madras High Court on Wednesday appointed an Advocate Commissioner to conduct surprise inspections of all three dog pounds maintained by Greater Chennai Corporation for sterilisation of stray dogs. The appointment was made on a public interest litigation petition filed by a private animal welfare organisation alleging improper upkeep of the pounds.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and P. Rajamanickam decided to ascertain the real state of affairs through advocate commissioner Yogeshwaran since the petitioner as well as the corporation found themselves at loggerheads over the issue with the latter claiming that the pounds were being maintained very well as per the rules.

The judges made it clear that the advocate commissioner would be entitled to inspect the pounds not only after informing the petitioner as well as the corporation but also to go on surprise checks. They expected him to submit his report in the court by January 21 and directed the civic body to pay him an initial remuneration of ₹10,000.

In an affidavit filed on behalf of Almighty Animal Care Trust of Gerugambakkam here, its trustee A.S. Mahadevan claimed that he was distressed to see the poor maintenance of the dog pound at Basin bridge. He alleged that the stray dogs were not properly sterilised and even basic necessities such as food and water were not given to them.

The petitioner trust also claimed that both unhealthy and healthy dogs were locked together without being segregated to prevent cross infection. “They are mostly left on their own urine and faeces in abysmal, unhealthy conditions,” he said and added that even male and female dogs were locked up together paving way for breeding at the pound itself.

Stating that most of the dog pounds maintained by local bodies across the State were overcrowded, the petitioner had sought for a direction to all corporations, municipalities and other civic bodies to strictly comply with the provision for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 and the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules of 2011.

However, in a status report filed in response to the PIL petition, the veterinary officer of Greater Chennai Corporation said, “the Basin Bridge Lethal Chamber (BRLC)-cum-Animal Birth Control Centre at Pulianthope here was functioning under the direct supervision of a qualified veterinary assistant surgeon posted by the Corporation.

“Drinking water was made available at all times and adequate food is also being provided to the dogs. Further, based on the specific complaints from the public through 1913 (toll free number), the stray dogs are caught, sterlised, vaccinated against rabies and relocated in the same area from where they were caught.”

The court was also told that out of 16 dog kennels in BRLC, six were utilised for receiving stray dogs from Zone I to VI, nine were utilised for post operative care and remaining was kept for quarantine purpose. The report asserted that all measures had been taken to prevent overcrowding and that kennels were maintained in a hygienic condition.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:19:35 PM |

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