Bengaluru, 20th July 2010: The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and The Voice of Stray Dogs (www.strays.in), a voluntary organization that works for the cause of stray dogs in Bengaluru met today in the city to speak on issues of dislocation and culling of dogs on a scale that has taken alarming proportions in recent times. Dr. S. Chinni Krishna, co-founder and chairman of Blue Cross-India, Mrs. Amala Akkineni, reputed actress, founder of Blue Cross, Hyderabad and a member of the AWBI and Rakesh Shukla, Founder Volunteer of The Voice of Stray Dogs spoke at the event.
While several measures have been adopted by the municipal corporation to control incidents of dog menace on Banguluru roads, many of them seem to have had little or no effect in curbing the number of stray dog-related incidents that are reported in the city. The forum focused on specific shortcomings in strategies adopted by agencies such as a culling and large scale displacement of dogs, which, besides flouting laws pertaining to animal rights, do not succeed in yielding the desired results. Studies indicate that dogs breed so prolifically that even the highest recorded removal rate, which stands at 24%, does not significantly impact their population or reduce the spread of rabies. On the other hand, well-designed sterilization programs systematically followed in several countries have shown encouraging results with reduction in dog population and the number of human rabies cases. Ms. Amala Akkineni said,” While we claim to be a civilized society, it is saddening to note that we hardly raise our voices to stop the inhumane treatment being meted out to animals that have shared our living spaces for thousands of years.”
Recognizing this fact, the World Health organization (WHO) and World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), in 1990, came out with guidelines that advocated a systematic sterilization program in place of mass killing for reducing the dog population. Based on this, the panel advocated the need to strengthen animal birth control and anti-rabies programs which are under the threat of being altered or discontinued in order to address the issue of dog menace in the city. “The streets of Singapore and Sydney are free of strays not as a result of indiscriminate killing but because of sound public policies adopted to address the issue.” said Dr. Krishna. The panel cited several examples from across the country including BBMP’s own successful campaign that helped dramatically reduce the incidents of dog bites in Bangaluru. Besides laying strong emphasis on adapting more humane methods of addressing the issue, it also highlighted the importance of responsible ownership and civic participation in maintaining sanitation levels in the city to make Bengaluru stray dog free.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (www.awbi.org) is the first of its kind organization to be established by any Government in the world. AWBI was set up in 1962, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Acts 1960 (No.59 of 1960). Shrimati Rukmini Devi Arundale pioneered the setting up of the Board, with its headquarters at Chennai. She guided the activities of the Board for nearly twenty years till her demise in 1986.
The Voice of Stray Dogs
The Voice of Stray Dogs (www.strays.in) is a voluntary organization that focuses on factual data, information, analysis & opinion on animal birth control, anti rabies initiatives including vaccinations besides legal and other issues concerning strays.