Excerpt: The Animal Welfare Board of India (henceforth AWBI) has taken up the implementation of the animal birth control (henceforth ABC) program for canines on a national scale with two objectives—to end the presence of stray dogs on roads and public spaces and free India from the incidence of rabies by 2020. Under this program, stray dogs are picked up, neutered, vaccinated against rabies and released in the respective areas from where they had been captured.
The ABC program constitutes the only effective and humane method of controlling stray dog populations. In its report, Technical Report Series 931, WHO’s Expert Consultation on Rabies, which met in Geneva from 5 to 8 October 2004, states:
“Since the 1960s, ABC programs coupled with rabies vaccination have been advocated as a method to control urban street male and female dog populations and ultimately human rabies in Asia. The rationale is to reduce the dog population turnover as well as the number of dogs susceptible to rabies and limit aspects of male dog behavior (such as dispersal and fighting) that facilitate the spread of rabies. The culling of dogs during these programs may be counterproductive as sterilized, vaccinated dogs may be destroyed”