Sterilise, don’t kill stray dogs, Udita tells officials

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

UDAIPUR - Bollywood actress Udita Goswami has urged authorities in this Rajasthan city to implement a sterilisation programme for stray dogs instead of leaving them in the desert to die.

Udita, who is also an animal rights advocate, has written a letter on behalf of Animal Aid Charitable Trust to Udaipur Municipal Commissioner Balmukund Astava, District Collector Anand Kumar, and Rajni Dangi, chairperson of the Nagar Parishad (city corporation), to look into the matter.

Udita, in her letter, has cited studies by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the World Health Organisation, which found that programmes promoting spaying and neutering are more effective and humane in addressing community concerns about stray dogs.

Saying that the Udaipur Municipal Corporation’s (UMCs) practice was “disturbing”, she said “it is also illegal” and violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the Animal Birth Control (Dog Rules) and the Indian Penal Code.

The UMC routinely catches stray dogs and dumps them outside the city in the desert as a means to control their numbers.

A Right to Information (RTI) report released in March by the UMC admitted that it had caught and abandoned over 1,100 dogs during six months in 2009.

The dogs are caught using heavy metal tongs that often break their teeth and cause internal injuries. Puppies, pregnant mothers and elderly dogs are dumped in the desert without food or water and are left to die.

As on March 30 this year, the Animal Welfare Board of India sent the UMC a legal notice warning it that if the catching and dumping continued the civic agency would have to answer to the court.

May 26, 2010: 3:30 pm

This is extremely disturbing. The dogs are simply thrown in the desert and left to die - many with broken teeth and internal injuries!? I applaud Udita Goswami for taking a stand and drawing attention to this issue. I hope the court backs her as well, and holds the UMC accountable for its disgusting actions. Her celebrity status should also help bring public awareness/support to the issue as well.

I am wondering what the UMC’s defense could possibly be?? Would they argue that it is a cost issue? What is the cost differential?

Regardless, it is an appalling practice that needs to be stopped immediately.

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