As the health dept is already burdened with human health related issues, the proposal for a separate department for animal welfare was recently put forth at the civic body.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may soon create a department for animal welfare to conduct quality checks and monitor chicken and mutton shops in the city. The proposal was recently mooted by House Leader, Shiv Sena corporator, Trishna Vishwasrao.
At present, monitoring chicken and mutton shops, stray animals on streets, etc. has mostly been neglected, as it does not come under the health department of the civic body. The BMC also does not have any data about veterinary clinics in the city.
The health department is already burdened with other pressing issues like dengue, diabetes, TB and malaria. The only animal-related responsibility that falls under the department is dog sterilisation, which is taken care of through appointed agencies, as it does not have doctors with veterinary qualifications.
Vishwasrao claims that since the ward health officers are either medical surgeons or MBBS degree holders, they are only capable of dealing with human health-related issues. “Since there is no segregated veterinary department, animal related issues always seem to be neglected.
If we create a separate department for them, the corporation will be able to keep checks on chicken and mutton shops, problems of abandoned cows on the streets and dog sterilisations.
The department will be headed by a veterinary doctor and even animals at the Byculla zoo can be monitored this way,” she said. The notice of motion was moved in the general body meeting on November 1 and the civic chief, Sitaram Kunte, will take the final decision.
Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of BMC said, “This is a policy decision and hence, I cannot comment on it for now. Once the proposal is put forth to us, only then can we look into it.”