Corporation’s ABC programme in limbo

The Corporation’s Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme has come to a standstill following a High Court directive to stop street dog sterilisation activities at its facility at Vandithadam until the conditions at the facility are improved.

The renovation work at the centre, which began last month, is expected to continue for at least two more months, during which period regular sterilisation activities will not be held.

Shed demolished

“The shed in which sterilisation used to be done has been demolished, and a new facility is being constructed. Meanwhile, we are now handling only emergency cases of rabies-infected dogs at the Government Veterinary Hospital at Pettah.

Another sterilisation facility was proposed to be set up at Pettah, but the authorities of a temple located nearby had earlier got a stay order against any ABC-related activity, as there is a dispute involving the land,” said the corporation’s veterinarian Sreerag.

After many false starts, during which private agencies which were contracted for the project left it before the process could even begin, the ABC programme in the corporation attained some level of stability only in August 2018, before which the programme had even come to a halt for about seven months.

The steady numbers of sterilisations seem to have had some effect, as the number of stray dog bites reported from the city has come down drastically, over the past few years.

The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has spent ₹94.63 lakh out of the ₹1.05 crore allocated over the past two years for its ABC programme, making it the civic body with one of the highest allocations for sterilising street dogs.

Amicus curiae

The amicus curiae report on the ABC facility at Vandithadam, presented before the High Court in November last year, had noted that the facility is totally ill-equipped to perform the task that it is expected to carry out.

Coming down heavily on the civic body, the report said the land available with the corporation had not been utilised in any manner to meet even the basic needs of the centre.

The report had said that dogs were kept in harsh conditions, following which the Kerala High Court ordered the corporation to take steps to improve it.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 9:19:01 am |