City going to the dogs: PETA

PETA criticizes the government on the poor management of its stray dog sterilization program

Stray dog in the street

Bangalore, November 21, 2017:In response to the urban minister Roshan Baig’s remarks on stray dogs, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has criticized the government on the poorly managed ABC (Animal birth control) programme.

Responding to the minister's remarks alleging PETA is blocking the government's efforts to curb stray dog population, Nikunj Sharma, media spokesperson for PETA, said, "I would just like to clarify that sterilization of stray dogs is the mandate of the law passed by the Indian government. As per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the only scientific way to curb animal population is through sterilization."

Nikunj Sharma said, “The rise in stray dog population is because sterilizing is not happening properly and also due to poor garbage management.”  The onus of sterilization rests with the municipal corporation along with NGOs, he added.

He said dogs are territorial. After sterilization, if they are not put back in the same neighborhood as the one they were picked up from, they will be prone to attacking humans. This comes against the backdrop of an ongoing debate on dog menace in the city. The debate was sparked when a stray dog entered the halls of Vidhan Soudha and feasted on leftover food outside the minister's office last year.

Vinay More, who runs Sarvodaya, an NGO which sterilizes stray dogs said, "Currently the dog population in Bangalore has risen to 5 lakhs from 3 lakhs in 2015 because the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme was not taken seriously by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the last two years. And, funds were not released. No NGOs are interested in working with the government because of payment issues."

Last month, the BBMP revived the ABC programme. Space was identified in all eight city zones to hold the dogs during the recovery period after sterilization. This was done in collaboration with NGOs, veterinary doctors and volunteers in Bangalore.

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