THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Admitting that the government and civic bodies do not have enough facilities to shelter and rehabilitate stray dogs, Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju urged voluntary organisations working for animal welfare to come up with viable projects to achieve that objective.
The minister was inaugurating a workshop held here on Saturday on ways to reduce man-animal conflict in the streets. The workshop was organised by ‘Hands For Paws’, a recently-launched collective comprising of animal welfare organisations, veterinarians, NGOs and animal lovers.
“Both the government and local bodies have failed in checking the spurt in the number of stray dogs. Neither do we have the facilities to rehabilitate them. In such a scenario, it is commendable that voluntary organisations have come forward to take up the task,” Raju said. He added the government and local bodies would provide all assistance to animal welfare organisations if they submit viable projects on rehabilitation of stray dogs.
Raju clarified the government was of the view that the number of stray dogs should be brought down through the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme and not by killing them. “However, we need to examine whether the ABC programme has met with its objectives,” he added.
Mayor V K Prasanth said the City Corporation was ready to hand over land to animal welfare groups for setting up shelters for stray dogs.
The Mayor admitted that dumping of slaughter waste had contributed to the rise in canine population.
He added that opposition from Tamil Nadu against transporting huge quantity of slaughter waste to that state for processing has thrown up a fresh challenge for the civic body. DIG Armed Police Battalion Shefeen Ahamed, Animal Husbandry Department Additional Director Dr K K Jayaraj and Veterinary Council of India former secretary Dr Rama Kumar V spoke at the inaugural session. This was followed by a lecture by senior veterinarians Dr Jacob Alexander and Dr Annie Varghese. A hands-on training session on canine behavioural psychology by Karthikeyan G was also held as part of the workshop.