After receiving numerous complaints about the growing cat menace, the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has collaborated with four additional NGOs to expedite the sterilization program. In October, a special drive resulted in the sterilization of 4,698 cats. Civic data reveals that between August 2019 and October 2023, a total of 11,410 cats have undergone sterilization.
BMC sterilizing stray dogs since 1994
The BMC has been conducting sterilization drives for stray dogs since 1994. In response to complaints about cat bites, a similar program for cats was initiated in 2019. However, with only two NGOs initially involved, the BMC managed to sterilize only 6,392 cats between August 2019 and February 2023. Subsequently, four more NGOs were brought in to enhance the sterilization efforts. The civic body, along with the NGOs, also vaccinated 4,698 cats and 14,191 stray dogs as part of the 'Rabies Free Mumbai Campaign,' implemented in October under the Center's initiative.
"Sterilization of cats is not an easy job, as they are smaller in size, can run fast, and climb anywhere, making it difficult to catch them. We accelerated the drive after receiving several complaints from offices and housing societies. The NGOs are working hard to complete this challenging task. However, counting the number of cats is challenging," stated a senior civic official. According to civic data, 3,556 male and 7,854 female cats have been sterilized in the last four years.
BMC's allocation for cat sterilization
In 2019, the BMC allocated a three-year contract for cat sterilization at a cost of Rs 3 crore. A provision of Rs 6 crore has been made for the next three years for dog and cat sterilization programs. The BMC will pay Rs 1,600 for male cats and Rs 2,200 per female cat, depending on who bears the cost of water and electricity, as per civic sources.
Additionally, the BMC has partnered with Mission Rabies and Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS) to eliminate rabies from stray animals by 2030. They have organized a workshop on the effective implementation of the Rabies Control policy from December 11 to 13 at Deonar Abattoir in Govandi. The three-day workshop will be guided by experts on animal welfare laws, strategies for mass vaccination of stray dogs, standard operating procedures, along with rabies control.