The Animal Birth Control Centre, inaugurated a few months ago in the city, has been temporarily shut down.
The Tiruchi Corporation in February 2019 inaugurated the facility in Konakkarai having five pre-operative and five post-operative wards which can hold at least 30 sterilisation procedure a day but it has been shut down due to lack of doctors and technical help, say officials.
City Health Officer A. Jagannathan said that the corporation had been maintaining and running the unit in collaboration with a Dindigul-based NGO. Running a birth control centre requires a trained veterinary doctor, assistants and caretakers apart from dog catchers.
The NGO had complaints regarding the staff having to travel the distance. Since Tiruchi and its nearby districts do not have Animal Welfare Board authorised NGOs, we had to depend on them. There is a serious dearth of vets,” he said.
The corporation has approached Collector S. Sivarasu to set up Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) which would act as a nodal agency for the functioning of ABC centres.
The Department of Animal Husbandry, through the SPCA, would be able to appoint veterinarians, other support staff and authorise NGOs for assistance, he said adding that the corporation would then provide infrastructure. The centre in Konakkarai was established at a cost ₹90 lakh and we can hand it over to them.
Following a management committee meeting involving Esther Sheela, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, D. Sujatha, District Forest Officer, and corporation officials convened by the Collector, the setting up of the SPCA has been approved.
The first step towards creating a safe environment for animals has been taken. Now, through SPCA, all necessary work will be done along with creating awareness among the people, said Ms. Sheela.
Meanwhile, the SPCA should begin enumeration of dog population, said Mr. Jagannathan.
‘To formulate a special policy to control the dog population, first the real number should be recorded. Dogs reproduce quickly and the last available data is from 2014,’ he said.
The corporation has written to the Directorate of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Service regarding the matter, he adds.