'Shocked to the core': Maneka Gandhi's message as she shuts her centre after dog cruelty video goes viral
"I have been personally seething with rage," Maneka Gandhi said after the video of how a para-vet at her centre assaulted a dog went viral on social media.
Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre in Delhi will be shutting down from August 1 for a complete overhaul, former minister and Lok Sabha MP Maneka Gandhi tweeted on Saturday. This move comes after a video of a para vet of the centre assaulting a dog after it bit him went viral on social media. Founded in 1980, this animal care centre is India's oldest and Delhi's largest all-animal centre. As its website says, the centre was founded in 1980 from a legacy bequeathed by Mrs Ruth Cowell of New South Wales, Australia to Sanjay Gandhi.
On July 5, a video on social media went viral. The video did not claim that the incident took place in Maneka Gandhi's centre, but alleged the same. In her statement issued on Saturday, Maneka Gandhi took the onus and admitted that the video was indeed from her centre and she is shocked to the core.
"The incident has shocked us all to the core -- I have been personally seething with rage and have been sick to my stomach since I watched the horrifying video. We immediately filed an FIR against the para-vets and they have been arrested. The doctor in-charge of the section has been given a notice to leave. But this is not enough," Maneka Gandhi wrote.
Announcing that the centre will remain closed for a complete overhaul, Maneka said that the centre will not rescue animals during the overhaul period and the existing animals of the centre will be rehabilitated.
"We will rebuild this institution again -- physically and more importantly, in terms of staffing," the BJP MP said. The internal policies and incentive mechanisms will be reviewed and the entire dog section will be rebuilt, Maneka Gandhi said.
What was the video?
The video showed a blood-stained room of a dog rescue centre where a dog was trashed on the floor and then beaten up after it bit one of the caregivers. Later, the dog succumbs to the injuries.
As Maneka Gandhi clarified in her statement, the two para vets who were dealing with the dog were newly appointed. The dog was naturally agitated and she was in extreme pain.
"We will overhaul the hospital management and its staff completely, while ensuring everyone working there is provided with animal-sensitivity training. It is time to rebuild this institution from the ground-up, and ensure that such an incident is never repeated again," Maneka said.