Udita Goswami tells officials to sterilise, but not kill straydogs

Udaipur (Rajasthan), May 26 (Calcutta Tube) Bollywood actress Udita Goswami has urged authorities in this Rajasthan city to implement a sterilisation programme for stray dogs instead of leaving them in the desert to die.

Udita, who is also an animal rights advocate, has written a letter on behalf of Animal Aid Charitable Trust to Udaipur Municipal Commissioner Balmukund Astava, District Collector Anand Kumar, and Rajni Dangi, chairperson of the Nagar Parishad (city corporation), to look into the matter.

Udita, in her letter, has cited studies by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the World Health Organisation, which found that programmes promoting spaying and neutering are more effective and humane in addressing community concerns about stray dogs.

Saying that the Udaipur Municipal Corporation’s (UMCs) practice was ‘disturbing’, she said ‘it is also illegal’ and violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the Animal Birth Control (Dog Rules) and the Indian Penal Code.

The UMC routinely catches stray dogs and dumps them outside the city in the desert as a means to control their numbers.

A Right to Information (RTI) report released in March by the UMC admitted that it had caught and abandoned over 1,100 dogs during six months in 2009.

The dogs are caught using heavy metal tongs that often break their teeth and cause internal injuries. Puppies, pregnant mothers and elderly dogs are dumped in the desert without food or water and are left to die.

As on March 30 this year, the Animal Welfare Board of India sent the UMC a legal notice warning it that if the catching and dumping continued the civic agency would have to answer to the court.

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