The Greater Chennai Corporation’s two new animal birth control (ABC) centres at Sholinganallur and Meenambakkam have begun operations after weeks of delay.
The centres might help in curbing the number of stray dogs in the city as animal activists have long raised issue of three animal birth control centres being inadequate to meet the situation. Further, the Corporation is renovating the existing animal birth control centres at Lloyd’s Colony, Kannamapettai and Pulianthope. While Lloyd’s Colony centre has been completely demolished, the other two are running in decreased capacity.
A total of 125 surgeries have been performed so far at the Sholinganallur centre (for Zone 14 and Zone 15) since its inauguration on February 15. The centre at Meenambakkam (for Zone 11 and Zone 12) was opened on March 1 and 108 surgeries have been done, said veterinary officer J. Kamal Husain.
Amidst perpetual issues around poor sterilisation by the Corporation, a recent order from the Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Fisheries and Fishermen Welfare Department recommending a minimum rate of ₹200 for catching a dog and ₹1,450 for sterilisation might improve the situation, say activists.
Antony Rubin, animal activist, said the earlier rate of ₹445 for sterilisation was too less for animal welfare organisations (AWOs), which usually operate with small budgets. The increased rate could encourage more organisations to join in the effort, he said and added that there should be better monitoring to filter ill-equipped ones.
The last census of stray dogs was done in 2018 as part of the Animal Husbandry department’s livestock survey. While the census has to be conducted once in four years, the Corporation has not yet initiated a stray dogs survey.
With an uptick in complaints from residents on stray dog menace, activists say a yearly survey is ideal to keep track of the numbers.