Mumbai

PETA sterilises 500 stray cats

Had received several calls of kittens being killed, harmed

In light of the rising cases of abuse and accidents that stray kittens fall victim to, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has undertaken a campaign to sterilise stray cats in Mumbai. Over 500 cats have been sterilised so far, said PETA officials.

The initiative was started to prevent thousands of potential offspring of cats from being born into difficult lives on the streets, where they face danger on a daily basis. PETA has been focusing first on the areas where the cat population is dense, such as near fish markets, butcher shops and restaurants.

Noble cause: (Top) Volunteers lure cats from their habitat by offering them food; then provide them care after they are sterilised.

Noble cause: (Top) Volunteers lure cats from their habitat by offering them food; then provide them care after they are sterilised.  

The campaign was launched around a year ago in collaboration with the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Youth Organisation in Defence of Animals. Cats receive vaccinations, treatment for injuries, and proof-of-sterilisation ear tags before being released back into their territories.

Deepak Chaudhary, emergency response coordinator, PETA India, said, “We have covered areas like Bandra (West), Fort, Sion-Dharavi and Andheri (West). We are continuing the campaign in other areas.”

‘Horrendous abuse’

Clinics that offer services for the sterilisation of cats handle about 10 cats a week. Mr. Chaudhary said PETA has been receiving numerous calls every day regarding cats who are mangled or killed in accidents. He said, “Cats have also been facing some horrendous abuse at the hands of people. In Mumbai and across India, stray animals struggle to survive. Many of them go hungry, are deliberately abused or get hit by vehicles.”

Mr. Chaudhary said animal birth control is being seen as the easy solution to give the stray animals a better life. He said, “Sterilising one female cat can prevent 4,20,000 births in seven years. Sterilised animals enjoy longer, healthier lives and neutered males are less likely to be rogue and violent.” Talking about the challenges, Mr. Chaudhary said it was difficult for the team to lure cats from the fish markets initially and that the cats had to be offered food.

He said, “The people from the fish market, too, were, not cooperative. Their demand was that the cats should be just taken away and not returned to their territories after the treatment. It was tough for the PETA team to convince the people that the cats had to be returned to their territories.” Mr. Chaudhary said that a lot of cats get shooed away from their original habitats, sometimes after giving birth, and their kittens are abused, abandoned or become victims of road accidents.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:02:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/peta-sterilises-500-stray-cats/article28336834.ece

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