The People for Animals (PFA), run by Union minister Maneka Gandhi, has raised questions over the sterilisation drive launched by the Patiala district administration and the municipal corporation to control the population of stray dogs.
The PFA has written to Patiala deputy commissioner Varun Roojam, apprising him of the alleged maltreatment to the dogs by the organisation given task to do sterilise the dogs.
In his letter, Amit Chaudhary, president PFA, has questioned the form and manner in which the stray dogs are being caught, restrained and sterilised. He has also questioned the move on how the dogs were released the same day or the next day of their sterilisation, leading to complications, including death in some cases.
"The catching and sterilisation of dogs by this firm was in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972)," he said in the letter.
"The dogs are caught using chokers in violation of Animal Welfare Board of India norms, stuffed into crammed cages, operated upon in sub-par conditions in amateurish manner using unsterilised equipment and dumped back into the cages before leaving them free after a day with raw wounds," PFA alleged.
Meanwhile, Patiala mayor Amarinder Singh Bajaj informed that the municipal corporation has handed over the project to the firm on the recommendations of the Punjabi University since the organisation had done very good job in the past.
In the first phase, 1,000 dogs would be sterilised and would be administered anti-rabies vaccines. A special team of 10 members from Uttrakhand has been hired to curb the problems of stray dogs.
The team of experts will capture 20-25 stray dogs daily and perform sterilisation and vaccination on them in the two-day process. A special mark would be inked on the dogs' body for their proper identification, he said.
The administration has been spending Rs 800 on every animal.
"Close circuit cameras have been installed at the government clinic. The staff would photograph each dog after sterilisation on daily basis. This would help maintain a proper data base," Bajaj said.