In a novel initiative, Daya Animal Welfare Organisation, recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and active for the last two decades, has put together a technical team for the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme.
The team, christened DATTA (Daya Technical Team for ABC), is composed of a group of three veterinary surgeons led by consultant surgeon Kishore Janardhanan, and five animal handlers led by master animal handler Ramesh Pulickan, one of the founding members of Daya and trained in animal handling at the National Institute of Animal Welfare. The objective is to make Kerala animal-friendly and rabies-free.
“This is perhaps for the first time that an animal welfare organisation is setting up such a team. We have planned for at least the next 10 years since ABC is a long-drawn process. The initiative goes beyond animal welfare and should be seen as part of the larger public health programme. It will also add to the reputation of Kerala as a tourism destination, as inhumane culling of animals, like the recent episode involving stray dogs in Thrikkakara municipality in Ernakulam district, taints even the global image of the State,” said Ambily Purackal, coordinator and a founding member of Daya.
DATTA could probably launch its operation in Thrikkakara since the Kerala High Court has entrusted Daya with the ABC programme of stray dogs in Thrikkakara in a suo motu public interest litigation on animal rights, though a final verdict is awaited.
A team led by Mr. Janardhanan has done an inspection of ABC facilities of Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram where Daya has proposed to conduct the sterilisation surgery of stray dogs from Thrikkakara. An inspection report explaining the sorry state of the road leading to the facility and other shortcomings such as faulty generator and air conditioner, has been submitted to the amicus curiae in the case.
“In the long run, we plan to train and share our expertise with other recognised animal welfare organisations across the State,” said Ms. Purackal.
While DATTA will offer technical expertise, the recurring expenses involved such as the salary of the staff, medicines, vehicle, operation theatre and so on will have to be borne by the local body concerned. Previously, the cost of ABC activities was shared equally between the local body concerned and the AWBI, though that arrangement ceased to exist some time ago.
Ms. Purackal, however, said that it would not be a tough task for the local bodies as they could find the allocation for the ABC programme either under their projects or from own funds.
DATTA is supported by Buimerc India Foundation.