India as a forerunner in the protection of animals!
Can Europe learn something about animal welfare from India?
The answer is: definitely YES!
Cause in handling with ownerless dogs or so-called stray dogs, India has striked a new path (at least some cities of the country).
This is to be owed to the animal welfare organisation “Blue Cross India”, because they didn’t lose the subject “stray dogs” out of sight.
Till 1996 India pursued the same strategy how many European countries to get the masses of street dogs under control.
This strategy is called in India “catch and kill”.
But this killing happens not very humanly, either the dogs were striked dead, they get a poison which causes unspeakable pains or, however, the dogs were executed to death with electric shocks. And this, although they haven’t done anything wrong. Only because they exist and because they disturb the people.
(In the 70’s the number of killed dogs was so enormous that a resident leather factory has taken up products from dog leather in their assortment e. g. wallets)
However, everyone knows and the Blue Cross could prove that with countings, that this method has not reduced the number of the strays, but the number increase about the years on and on.
Among the rest, reasons for this are that new or more resources for the survivors originate from the homicide and mostly more dogs were born from uncontrolled increase than can be killed.
In other words: if dogs are removed, the life expectancy of those which stay behind rises because they receive better access to the necessary resources and the rivalry decrease.
Not only for animal welfare reasons the Blue Cross has intervened, but also because illnesses were transferred by the dogs. By smaller bites people were stuck on with the rabies virus on which yearly about 20.000 people died. The mortality based on rabies could be lowered by the ABC / ARE (Animal Birth Control – Anti Rabies) programme of the blue cross as much as possible on zero.
The ABC / ARE programme constructs on the fact that street dogs are caught, are brought to a veterinary and then there are inoculated and castrated. Then after a recovery phase the dogs are put out again where they were taken up.
This happens on the one hand, because the animal homes of India do not have enough capacities for all animals and, on the other hand, because the dogs have mostly been based a small network. They have a certain district where they search for food in the garbage tonnes or even are fed by the inhabitants.
In addition, the programme still aims in another direction – it offers private individuals to let castrate and inoculate their domestic animals free of charge , so that these also can’t reproduce unintentionally.
It wasn’t very easy for the Blue Cross to receive support from the responsible authorities. At the beginning these struggled even vehemently.Only when the Blue Cross has started castrating on own initiative and at own expenses, parallel with the homicides, and they could prove figures after some time, the responsible people got involved in a cooperation.
Till now 80% of the dogs in bigger cities could already go through the ABC programme.
In the period of the last 13 years in which the programme was applied (however, only during the last 5 years really all over the country) the number of the strays decreased about 30% and the number of the human rabies cases decreased up to single exceptions to zero.
If one compares the locations with ABC programme and the locations without this programme it reveals, that in the locations without ABC programme the population of strays and the appearance of rabies have risen even further.
The ABC / ARE programme works in two directions. On the one hand the number of the straying animals will drastically decrease on a continuing basis, because no new puppies are born (this, however, only with logical and lasting use) and, on the other hand, the people are protected against the rabies and the families can be saved from a lot of grief.
Completely apart from the fact that the animals can be saved from the grief of being catch and killed. They are treated, because of castration, like normal creatures and not like rubbish of the modern world.
In spite of the programme there are still people who catch and kill the dogs. Also those which have run through the programme and are marked. This is tragic, because a lot of time, energy and money were put in these dogs.
The fatal is that these dogs can be easier caught, because they have experienced that people can treat them also well. Quelle: blue cross
How can Europe benefit from this programme?
Many European countries have also a problem with street dogs (e.g., Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Poland, etc.)
In almost all these countries they are either killed to dam the number of the street dogs or they cage the caught dogs for life in animal homes where they perish miserably.
These both approaches, namely killing and/or locking up could reduce till this day the number of the street dogs in no manner, on the contrary – they become more and more.
Internationally approved and experienced scientists, veterinarians and animal welfarists send a reminder over and over again that there can be only ONE way to reduce the population of the street dogs: catch - castrate – and then put the dogs out again where they were taken up. The same action like the ABC-programme described on top.
If only single dogs are snatched away or killed, the rest herd will close the gap always very fast. Also mathematical studies to the population dynamism prove this statement.
So it is especially importantly to carry out this programme exhaustive and for a longer period, so that the positive effects can come through.
Also in Europe or in the single countries opposition already stirs since some time. Many animal welfare organisations collect straying dogs and cats. Castrating and inoculating them (if necessary other medical treatments are still carried out) and try to convey them either in families or behaved animal homes.
In some countries they are marked, like in India, and then are brought again in her district. However, this costs money and time and the animal welfare organisations cannot bear the costs alone, particularly as by the uncontrolled increase more and more dogs come in addition, because the organisations do not have the capacities and the money to castrate really all over the country. Here the politics must intervene and create legal basic conditions.
So that the responsible people are informed about the subject in the special countries and at EU level generally, the study group "Pfotenhilfe-Europa" has been based, which works in the whole EU together with animal welfare organisations and informs locally as well as the politicians in Strasbourg.