For our Streetizens - Need Compassionate & efficient Animal Birth Control ( ABC) Program
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The Animal Birth Control program ( ABC ) is set up in Bangalore, under the guidance of the AWBI under the aegis of the BBMP, with the primary aim of reducing man - animal conflict, tackling the issue of Rabies and is the most humane method of doing so. In Bangalore the BBMP Animal Husbandry team has made efforts to accelerate the program by adding 8 zones namely (Bangalore East, Bangalore South, Mahadevapura, Bangalore West, Bangalore North, RR nagar, Peenya and Dasrahalli) and respective ABC contractors for these zones. While this is a step in the right direction , we would urgently encourage the BBMP Animal Husbandry department to factor in the much needed focus on quality, efficiency, compassion and adherence to AWBI guidelines, in to the program This would benefit humans and dogs alike . Its important to bear in mind that the dog is as important a stakeholder for the successful implementation of this program. The street dog is as much a citizen of this world and we request BBMP to treat this " Steertizen"as a sentient being ( which he or she is) as opposed to an item with harvestable reproductive organs.
Recently a street dog was operated by one of the ABC contractors and was left with her guts spilling out. She was picked up by a well meaning rescuer and was given the best of care. Unfortunately the damage was too much she succumbed after a week long struggle .
Given this especially , we urge BBMP to follow with immediate effect the recommendations as below...
1. ABC program to remain suspended for two weeks while
vets, catchers , Centre manager of each of the ABC zones would be sent to WVS at Goa or Ooty for training in their respective roles. This program is very affordable
2)Strict enforcement of Standard Operating Procedure ( SOP) as elicited by AWBI ( Animal Welfare Board of India). We recommend a reputed ABC vet or a WVS vet be engaged by BBMP to monitor and audit the ABC program for a minimum of 6 months.
3) Besides monitoring targets, BBMP ADs of the respective zones will also diligently monitor the quality objectives of the program and ensure AWBI SOPs are adhered to . Will report discrepancies on a monthly basis to the BBMP Joint Commisioner of Health and BBMP Joint Director Animal Husbandry and appropriate action would be taken. For this tight documentation and protocols to be maintained and followed at Centres.
4) Rabies cases should be attended to within 90 mins from the time of complaint. It's the responsibility of the AD from the reported ABC zone to ensure the same.
5) Dogs have to be dropped back exactly at the place from where they we're picked up for surgery failing which there would be problems around territorial adjustments and dog fights which would as much affect the humans in an area. For this the existing guidelines around tagging and identification of dogs, specify some simple and effective techniques that must be adhered to strictly.
5) Increasingly ABC contractors spend a lot of time attending to dog complaints. Efforts must be taken to filter out these requests so that the contractor spends more time at the operating table. Only dog bite and written complaints should be entertained subject to validation. Proof of bite and vaccination records around the bite should be submitted by the complainant. The biting dog would be kept under observation as per AWBI guidelines at the ABC centre and if shows no sign of rabies would be sterilised and vaccinated ( if not already ) and released back at the same spot. Both BBMP and ABC contractor would engage and educate citizens around compassionate ways of dealing with dogs and laws of the land . Relocation requests from citizens should be absolutely discouraged by sharing legal information pertaining to the illegality of the nature of the request. BBMP would work with corporators of respective zones to ensure human and dog conflict is kept in check.
6) BBMP must undertake Street dog Cenus. An agressive ABC program should be developed only basis the census.
7) The MOU that BBMP signs up with the ABC contractor should be in line with the AWBI guidelines and should be made public. Public consultation to draft a human and dog friendly MOU is necessary. Also ABC e tender process while it's legitimate the process of giving out contracts basis the lowest bid should be re should be stopped. A lot more weightage should be given to technical prowess and experience .
8) How do we demand for efficiency in the program when BBMP makes staggered and delayed payments to the ABC contractors some of the payments running in to months. A working capital arrangement is neccesary. Constant engagement with contractors is necessary to manage attrition. BBMP has to constantly liase with the Animal Husbandry department to maintain a constant roster and supply of qualified vets for ABC. Contractors must have a two year lock in period and the person leading the contract must be available at the centre all the time. This is not happening today.
9) BBMP has to make efforts to share timely and important updates around the progress of the ABC program via their website, social media and with the support of press to create transparency around the way program is executed and be open to recommendations and suggestions by citizens to ameliorate the same. The perception towards Community Dogs must change and the BBMP is key in bringing that about.
The current BBMP Animal Husbandry Department has amazing guidance from the current BBMP JC Health as well as from concerned citizen stakeholders and we hope and trust these changes would come through positively and very soon.
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