ABC programme set to be restructured

The Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme at the city Corporation is set to undergo a considerable change in its functioning including in the way the stray dogs are caught for sterilisation, in their upkeep, and in the monitoring of the entire process.

Mayor Arya Rajendran and Health Standing Committee Chairperson P. Jameela Sreedharan announced a set of decisions regarding this towards the fag end of a special council meeting on Monday, which was convened following demands from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to discuss issues related to the ABC programme.

The Corporation has decided to provide a fresh round of training to all staff, including the dog catchers, involved in the ABC programme. The existing monitoring committee for the programme will be reconstituted. A new survey will be conducted with the help of the NGOs working in the field to assess the number of stray dogs in the city. Anticipatory sanction has been accorded to an amount of ₹18 lakh for improving the infrastructure facilities at the sterilisation facility at Vandithadam. This will be in addition to the ₹4.19 crore project that was cleared by the council recently. Proper cooked food will be ensured for the dogs, which will have to be kept at the centre for five days after sterilisation.

Awareness classes will be conducted for all the councillors as well as representatives of the residents’ associations regarding the ABC programme and to sensitise them on the need for better treatment of stray dogs. The decisions were taken following meetings with animal rights organisations and the NGOs last week.

Earlier, during the discussions, BJP councillor M.R. Gopan alleged that there was no strict monitoring of the ABC programme. The number of dogs that underwent sterilisation are not correctly noted in the register, leading to doubts of corruption in the whole process. BJP councillor Anilkumar said unscientific waste management, the spread of fast food joints and waste generated from there, and the non-functioning of the slaughterhouse were reasons for the increase in the number of stray dogs.

CPI(M) councillor Amshu Vamadevan said that the civic body could work only within the limitations set by the ABC rules 2001, framed by the Union Government. Some of the suggestions from the BJP councillors, including the opening of kennel clubs to keep all stray dogs at one place, went against the act.

Some of the officials involved in the programme have cases charged against them, which affects their functioning and morale too. He accused the BJP councillors of having ulterior motives in accusing meat shops of causing an increase in the number of stray dogs.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 6:02:41 PM |

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