STRAY DOGS in India will see their growing population curtailed, thanks to animal birth control across the state being introduced by a UK animal charity.
The London-based Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre has said it will revive the Animal Birth Control (ABC) project for stray dogs in Jharkhand.
Mayhew, for its part, will initially fund the ABC programme of Ranchi-based Hope and Animal Trust by providing the running cost involved in the project and will later persuade UK-based organisations to provide funds.
According to Praveen Ohal of Hope and Animal Trust, this is the first time that an international organisation is involved in the welfare of stray dogs in the state.
Ohal said the programme will start in Ranchi and if it is successful, it would be extended to other major cities in the state.
The programme will run more smoothly once the Hope and Animal Trust becomes a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, which is the Union government’s funding agency.
The trust has applied for membership and has received approval from the state government.
The ABC programme uses the trap, neuter and release method and is targeted at female dogs.
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) together with the Veterinary College started this method a couple of years ago, but efforts were abandoned because of the lack of funds.
There are over believed to be around 200,000 stray dogs in the state, with nearly 80,000 in Ranchi and Jamshedpur alone.
Mayhew has already trained two employees of the RMC in areas such as dog catching and sterilisation.
RMC has also asked the London-based organisation to provide medicine so that they can continue with the ABC programme at their animal clinic with their dog catching and compounding squad.
Joy Lee, the international project manager, Mayhew, said the organisation would sponsor the training of animal carers and dogcatchers in Ranchi with another organisation called Help in Suffering.
The programme will be extended to rural communities in areas such as veterinary care and education, she said.
Mayhew, which has been involved in animal welfare activities for the past 118 years, operates a re-homing and outreach centre in London. It has been involved in animal welfare projects in Israel, Afghanistan and Russia.