Forget mortuary for humans; Govt to preserve genitals of stray dogs

Officials To Keep Account Of Removed Organs For Release Of Funds

M HYDERI

Srinagar, May 5: Upholding its apparent concern towards the stray packs, which have broken all known records of attacks on humans, the government has started preservation of genitals of the dogs undergoing sterilization at the state-of-the-art Shuhama dog pound on the outskirts here.
The organ preservation issue has popped up at a time when this ill-fated city in the conflict zone – having witnessed thousands of deaths during the past two odd decades of turmoil - has no such facility in the form of specialized mortuary, the Emblem, where unclaimed bodies of humans could be preserved.
City’s only mortuary, though without an Emblem, run by police, was demolished sometime back.

THE DOG PRESERVATION
The state government in collaboration with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) Thursday has started sterilization of stray dogs, both males and females, whereby their testicles and uteruses are to be removed. The state government, on this front, is being represented by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir (SKUAST).
“Male dogs are being subjected to castration (removal of testicles) whereas female dogs are subjected to overiohysteriotomy (removal of uterus),” explains Prof Dil Muhammad Makhdoomi, Head Veterinary Clinical Services at SKUAST and in-charge for the ongoing Animal Birth Control (ABC) program.
“The removed organs (uteruses and testicles) are being preserved in formalin (preservative) so that a proper account of the removed genitalia is maintained for the release of funds,” he added.

PRESERVATION FOR FUNDING
Explaining the preservation mantra, Prof Makhdoomi said, as per the MoU signed between the SMC, SKUAST and the AWBI, the reimbursement of funds for sterilization would be made on the basis of count of the testicles and the uteruses.
“This is a standard to crosscheck the figures and make the payments in a transparent manner,” he added.
The senior vet, however, admitted that there was no need of such preservation for crosscheck because the sterilization was being done by the government agency itself.
“Unlike some NGO, we being a respectable organization, had enough of checks and balances like how much anesthesia was used, how the dogs were brought and from which ward (municipal ward) and how they stayed in the pre-operative, post-operative care,” he added.
He, however, said that the testicles and uteruses wouldn’t be preserved for long but for around a month when a high level team will go for the final counting to make the payments.
The SMC and the AWBI, as per an MoU, are believed to make the payments on 50:50 partnership basis. Each dog sterilization is expected to cost around Rs 1000 (including hospitalization and post-operative care).
As per the SMC Veterinary Officer, Dr Sajad Mughal who is associated with the dog pound venture since its inception, around 40 dogs would be sterilized a day once the  drive picks up.
This means, some 1200 dogs would be sterilized meaning a monthly expenditure of around Rs 12 lakh.

ORGANS MEAN UTILIZATION CERTIFICATE
Observers correlate the preservation of genitals with the “Utilization Certificate” which has to be produced by the state government departments for availing funding for the centrally sponsored schemes.
“Under centrally sponsored schemes funds are released after the production of utilization certificate. In case of dog sterilization, the testicles and uteruses seem to be holding same value,” said a retired official.

THE GHOTALA FEARS
But then there are apprehensions over the audit of the preserved organs. What if some mischief is done by putting sheep testicles, which wont cost more than Rs 30 in open markets, in the formalin, and cash it for Rs 1000 of being that of a dog?
If such a Ghotala matures, testicles and uteruses may finally end up being a debate at sophisticated laboratories outside state where DNA would have to be verified.

THE GOVT CONCERN
The National Conference led government has seemingly been so concerned towards the welfare of dogs that it doesn’t even want to harm rabid dogs. Last year it got the shot-at-sight orders against the rabid lot revoked overnight even though the attacks on humans were scaling new records.
While the general perception is that over one lakh dogs are on prowl in the City, the government earlier this year announced that the accurate number was 91,110.

MILLION DOLLAR TAG
The government, eyes at sterilization, a costly and time consuming affair as the sole solution to the problem.
The experts, however, have been apprehensive about the results of the sterilization saying that by the time 40 dogs will be sterilized, 400 more will take birth. And the sterilization will be a bullion “business for decades to come.”
While the public outcry over the dog menace is swelling with the increase in number of dog attacks, the government has disallowed people to stage protests against the dog menace, pleading that it would be violation of Section 144, which prevents four or more humans to assemble.
Amid this unending debate, a million dollar question posed last year by the then Chief Justice Ibraheem Kalifullah remains unanswered: “Will a dog stop biting after sterilization?”

Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 May 2012 00:00:00 IST




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