The veterinary department of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will monitor the sterilization of stray dogs through a soon-to-be-launched mobile application, with senior officials saying that it will ensure that after surgery, the animals are released in the same locality they were picked up from.
“Many a times we receive complaints regarding stray dogs being picked up by our field teams from certain neighborhoods but not being returned to the same locality after the neutering surgery. Our field teams will log in pictures of dogs and the geo-coordinates of where they were picked up from. NGOs carrying out the surgeries will also log those details as well as the time spent in dog kennels. Dogs will be released at the same location,” said an official from vet department.
The regulations of Animal Welfare Board of India and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, under which the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 was enacted, makes it illegal for an individual, RWA or municipal bodies to remove or relocate a dog from its area.
Data from the civic body shows that the SDMC sterilizes an average of 40,000 stray dogs annually but the drive has slowed down during the pandemic. There is no data available on the current number of stray dogs in the Capital but a survey conducted by the first while unified MCD in 2009 found that there were 560,000 stray dogs across Delhi.
A survey conducted by NGO Humane Society International in 2016 found over 1.89 lakh strays in South Delhi alone, but the numbers have increased over the last five years. The five-year data between 2017-2020 shows that at least 150,000 dog bite cases were reported in various municipal health facilities and dispensaries. The World Health Organization estimates that 36% of the deaths due to rabies occurs in India each year, most of whom are children that come into contact with infected dogs.
Dog crematorium to be opened in March
Meanwhile, a senior SDMC veterinary department official said the city’s first dog crematorium, coming up in Dwarka Sector 9, will be opened in March — a month before the initial deadline.
The official said 40% of the work has been completed and the project will be inaugurated before the announcement of civic polls.
The project is being executed on a public-private partnership mode and the entire cost of construction, upkeep and maintenance of this crematorium will be borne by the NGO Green Revolution Foundation.