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Animal Lovers hold Nagar Nigam accountable for puppy deaths and human-dog conflict, Commissioner submits to demand of protestors
Jaipur: More than 250 city animal lovers demonstrated at Statue Circle and demanded that both Nagar Nigam authorities and the GoR take cognisance of the suffering of dogs. The Former has failed miserably in executing the Animal Birth Control Program.
Over 200 dogs get killed daily on the streets and highways of Jaipur. There is no place to bury or give them a respectful farewell. Many are left unattended for days, their carcasses rotting in the open environment, and endangering human health too as the contamination finds its way through the air and water sources. This dishonorable death can be mitigated through a properly run Animal Birth Control operation as per the ABC Rules of 2001.
Animal lovers claim that as per the rules a functional monitoring committee must be appointed. However the committee appointed by nagar parishads is a sham and Heritage has only filled 2 of the 3 non-governmental appointments. They have taken people on board who even the animal lovers community has not heard of. This has happened due to personal political favors. Corruption is rampant even in the ABC program.
“The monitoring committee plays a very crucial role in the functioning of the ABC program. To constitute it without active animal caregivers is a clear indication of Nagar Nigam’s lack of will to run the program properly. We had submitted our recommendations as requested but were shocked to hear the both Nagar Nigams have exactly the same people on the committee. This is not an ideal situation. Young and active animal lovers should have been put on it otherwise the committee will remain in name only,” says Mariam Abuhaideri, an animal activist
and organiser of the rally.
Mariam had submitted an RTI to both Nigams to find out the source of the budget and the amount collected from pet registrations in the past year. Greater Nagar Nigam is yet to respond. Heritage has collected Rs 1,40,000 cash in 2022-2023. Where these funds have been used is unclear. The Nagar Nigams each receive a huge budget for rabies control.
The helpline is almost never responsive and the ambulance for dead animals only sanctioned on paper. Animal lovers have had to pool in their own resources to put to rest dead animals. The Nagar Nigam has failed miserably, they claim.
Currently both nigams are operating their ABC program out of Khor. This is nota feasible solution as the distance stresses the dogs, and there aren’t enough kennels and vets performing the surgeries. If Nigam set up 2-3 more centers in the city and award the tender to separate agencies, they will be able to achieve their target in 2- 3 years. Catching free-roaming dogs isn’t easy and the Nigam does not have a means to tranquillize and catch dogs that do not wish to be caught.
The draft ABC rules of 2022 are being considered in parliament. However, execution will have to be done and monitored locally, and that is the challenge.
"Dog sterilization is the most important programme for a smart city. If done well , it will remove rabies, stop dog bites and let humans and street animals enjoy each other. If done badly , it increases animal suffering, increases dog bites, increases tension between humans who love and those you hate animals and has no effect on rabies or another problem. Jaipur was 20 years ago, the best city in terms of dog sterilization and the first city in India to be rabies free. Now it is worse than most cities : the catching is inhumane and illiterate, the records are not kept, relocation is happening, tenders are given carelessly. This is one of the nicest cities in India. It deserves to have a good sterilization programme," said Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, MP.
Man-dog conflict and rabies can only be controlled through adoptions and a consistent and humane animal birth control. “The solution is not just for dogs, or animals lovers, but also those who are frustrated with dogs,” said Sanjana Sarkar, an animal lover.
Comedian Shyam Rangeela and many prominent Jaipurites participated in the rally. The protestors took out the funeral of the puppies led by dogs who were rescued and adopted by animal lovers.
“The truth is that adoption of Indies will not take place until we go
after breeders and puppy mills. That is a long shot. Instead let’s do both together- Promote adoption of Indie dogs and also run the ABC program wholeheartedly,” says Mariam.
The protestors claim that the Nagar Nigam authorities have been averse to the dogs and animal welfare. “Where there is no will to do anything, it gives rise to frustrations and anger. We want the Nagar Nigam to understand that as a tax-payer we will not support this corruption and cold-blooded murder which the program is,” says a protestor.
Mahendar Soni, upon hearing the protestors has committed to some of their demands. A crematorium will be set up and several other Dog ABC centers will be set up. He also agreed to work with local NGOs to help speed up the dog sterilisation program.