The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) veterinary department will oversee the sterilization of stray dogs through a mobile application to be launched soon, with senior officials saying it will ensure the animals are released after the operation in the same place where they are were picked up.
“Often we receive complaints about stray dogs being picked up by our field teams from certain neighborhoods but not returned to the same location after neutering. Our field teams will log in pictures of dogs and the geo coordinates of their pickup location. NGOs conducting the operations will also log these details, as well as time spent in kennels. Dogs will be released at the same place,” said a veterinary authority official.
The regulations of the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 under which the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 were enacted make it illegal for an individual, RWA or local authority to take a dog out of his territory.
Citizens Authority data shows the SDMC sterilizes an average of 40,000 stray dogs annually, but the pace has slowed during the pandemic. No data is available on the current number of stray dogs in the capital, but a survey conducted in 2009 by the once-unified MCD found that there were 560,000 stray dogs across Delhi.
A survey conducted by the NGO Humane Society International in 2016 found over 1.89 thousand stray dogs in South Delhi alone, but the number has been increasing over the past five years. Five-year data between 2017 and 2020 shows at least 150,000 dog bite cases were reported at various community health facilities and pharmacies. The World Health Organization estimates that 36% of deaths from rabies occur in India each year, most of which are children who come into contact with infected dogs.
Dog crematorium is scheduled to open in March
Meanwhile, a senior SDMC veterinary department official said the city’s first dog crematorium, which will be built in Dwarka Sector 9, will open in March – a month ahead of schedule.
The official said 40% of the work has been completed and the project will be inaugurated ahead of the announcement of citizen surveys.
The project is carried out as part of a public-private partnership and the entire cost of building, maintaining and maintaining this crematorium will be borne by the NGO Green Revolution Foundation.