KOCHI: The Animal Birth Control project launched by the corporation to reduce the population of stray dogs is almost defunct now due to the unavailability of veterinary doctors. The project has been in struggling waters since the doctors and dog catchers dropped out seeking better payment for their services.
Since the doctors are appointed directly by the corporation on a contract basis, the Animal Husbandry department can not get involved, the officials said.
Earlier, reports had flown in about strays caught from various streets being stacked brutally into cages in Karimugal. They had to be released following calls from animal lovers.
Mayor M Anilkumar said the issue will be resolved soon. “ABC is a great project for the city and it should continue without any hassles. I have convened meetings of the officials to ensure the interviews for veterinary doctors are conducted soon,” he said, adding that the interview and appointment of the new doctors were delayed due to Covid emergency works.
According to the Animal Welfare Board of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forest, ABC protocol was brought out to ensure that uniform and professional standards of care are provided to stray dogs. It is mandatory that even if the dogs are accommodated in group housing after surgery, they must be kept in individual cages that are at least three feet wide, three feet deep and three feet high. However, many of the agencies are unable to meet these guidelines due to lack of facilities.