CNVR in practice in India (Part I): How it ‘eased’ its way in India ‘through’ the sub par TANUVAS-AWBI research
Posted on | March 26, 2014 | 3 Comments
Its not everyday that you see a report ‘commissioned’ by a Govt body on a deeply invasive surgical procedure – that show’s that 60% of the population of study 1 has severe-to-adverse results and 38% of the population of study 2 simply goes missing! And then the study declares the surgical procedure a success. The one thing worse could be that a complex invasive surgical procedure is tested on only 24 individuals and would then be used on millions each year. And the only thing worse than that could be that the Govt agency decides to not actually mandate it but allows it to be quietly put in practice. That is the story of CNVR in India. Because dogs don’t talk. They don’t get nominated on boards meant for their welfare. But they can get you domestic & foreign funding.
If you see the large number of dogs found with their intestines hanging out and if you ask the NGO that did the surgery – you’ll get to know that it was CNVR. Maybe poorly performed surgery by ill-trained staff but its CNVR nevertheless. You can’t even challenge that its ill trained staff – there is NO Standard Operating Procedure written by AWBI and as such all the AWOs doing CNVR surgery are doing something ‘illegal’. But AWBI don’t give a damn as long as its officers, esp those that have a buy-in facilitated by agencies that advocate CNVR in India such as Humane Society International (HSI), choose to only ratchet up ABC numbers. There is great merit in being the father of ABC in India. The effect that it has on dogs in practice is not something that crosses the conscience.
But if you do challenge the practice of CNVR and its implementation and indeed its very existence with an NGO and/or should you approach AWBI – you will learn that the only basis of its existence is ‘TANUVAS Report’. You will not get the report. You will not get data. You will get the term. Now since this something of a ‘public document’ it should be available publicly – right? Its not. Its not available on AWBI’s website and its not available on Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) website and its not available anywhere else. Try on Google.
So we got a copy of it. This article is on the findings of what the report really contains. And here for the 1st time is a publicly available full copy of the TANUVAS report itself.
AWBI commissioned this a study that was released as a report by the Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University called “Evaluation of catch-neuter-vaccinate-release (CNVR) as a humane technique for birth control in dogs”. The report was prepared by a team led by Dr. D. Kathiresan with the of Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS). The study was conducted at 2 AWOs at 2 major cities of the country in Bangalore (Animal Help Foundation, Ahmedabad) and in Chennai (the Blue Cross of India, Chennai) between 05 Sept 2008 to 19 Jan 2009.
For its mandate, interestingly, the report says “Recommendations arising from this work are expected to offer great valuables (sic) in containing dog populace in the country. The outcome of this work is expected to help the planners and administrators of the Ministry and the Animal Welfare Board of India in enhancing the output of the scheme on ‘Birth control and immunization of stray dogs’ funded by the Ministry through AWBI.”
As we see in this paper this report is full of holes, its recommendations in terms of data inconclusive but its subjective conclusions steadfast. And it is these that are cited repeatedly by the CNVR backers in argument after argument. There was another report that was analysed for its data and correlation – which matches this one in its understanding of any data, or lack thereof – which was the KIMS audit on ABC programs in Bangalore showed BBMP failure, not ABCs report. VoSD’s critique of the report can be seen here.
Restrictions and definitions in this paper
- The TANUVAS report details the findings of the anti-rabies effectiveness through CNVR in much more detail than the surgical procedure itself. This paper however restricts itself to the data and analysis of the CNVR surgical procedure.
- In the TANUVAS report and in this analysis
- Castration (Neuter) via prescrotal procedure and Ovariohysterectomy through right flank method of neutering (Spaying) is called conventional Animal Birth Control or ABC.
- Catch – Neuter – Vaccinate – Release through midventral ovariohysterectomy in female dogs and prescrotal castration in male dogs is called CNVR.
- This is not an assessment or a critique of the CNVR method itself. It is of the research that provides CNVR sanctity and gateway in practice in India.
- Though the report was published by TANUVAS it was commissioned by AWBI and is referred to as the TANUVAS report or the TANUVAS-AWBI report interchangeably
Why did AWBI commission this report and what was TANUVASs scope of the study?
The report repeatedly mentions the reason for its commission: Read more
Sneha Maiya alleges VoSD killed or displaced VoSD Rescues No 1659 & No. 1707: Easily disproved on the strength of VoSD Rescue protocols and because we went back & found the dog!
Posted on | March 24, 2014 | No Comments
Of the 230+ articles published by this publication this is the 1st being written and published in 1st person. At it is in response to a motivated attack by a person, possibly persons, alleging that I and VoSD have either killed or displaced dogs we rescued – without a shred of evidence or the capacity to assimilate the information and evidence to the contrary. And actually engaged senior ’professionals’ in ‘animal welfare’ to approach VoSD on the basis of this allegations – with them not once approaching us for an explanation either.
- Rakesh Shukla, Founder of The Voice of Stray Dogs.
On March 17 a certain Sneha Maiya repeatedly called up 4 members of VoSD staff, and accused them of displacing dogs. She did so in-spite of being repeatedly told by each of them, that the dogs she was mentioning had been dropped back to the very same location that they were picked up from, after VoSD had tried to reach her, but she was not available to received them. Her response was consistently of shrieking and hurling abuse – without any reason being supplied as to why she thinks the dogs have been “displaced”, since she was not on location when they were dropped back, and had not even attempted to see them being dropped back, or requested anybody else known to her, to receive them.
This issue was handled by the VoSD staff – to the point that each of them had to disconnect the call with her curtly, on account of the abusive nature of the call.
Later at night I started receiving a series of mails emphasizing the same, and alleging that the dogs had been displaced, as above. I did respond saying that I will investigate and provide an answer the next morning; but to no avail. I cannot off hand answer, especially late at night, regarding every dog treated and returned back to location by VoSD. In fact, it is highly unlikely that the Head of any organisation can claim that he or she is possessed of all information, regarding every individual dog, at all times. I therefore suggested that Sneha Maiya wait until the next morning. Rather than do the same however, she persisted in engaging with me over e-mail, and alleging that the dogs had been displaced, and making very irresponsible allegations about my staff as well.
From certain events that have transpired after that, it is seeming very probable that what was occurring was either premeditated and motivated. Her consistent assertion without being possessed of the requisite facts, or even waiting until the morning of the 18th of March to obtain the (allegedy) required information about the two dogs, is looking very much like a motivated attempt to besmirch the reputation of VoSD as a rescue organization.
Sneha Maiya, who was not ‘on site’ at all, i.e. on the location to which the dogs were returned back, has, after her abusive calls to my staff all through the 17th of March, and her e-mail exchange with me, and without bothering to re-connect with us the next day, been writing to and talking to various people, and making allegations regarding “her dogs” having been displaced by VoSD. One such organisation that she wrote to was the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). She also wrote to a senior officer of the Humane Society International (HSI). Neither the AWBI, nor the HSI, have any jurisdiction at all, over VoSD. In any event, neither are possessed of all facts; and the unrebutted assertions made by any party can by no stretch of imagination constitute the “truth”.
A forwarded mail can easily be EDITED, as we all know. Sneha Maiya has created a mail exchange of her own and approached the said officers on the basis of this. Sneha Maiya has forwarded the alleged exchange of mails with me, to both, the AWBI, and the senior officer of the other organization. Interestingly at least one of them has continued to engage her without checking any facts with VoSD. This lends further credence to the belief that what has occurred, and continues to occur, is a concerted effort to bring VoSD into disrepute.
This perception that Ms Maiya’s allegations are motivated is further compounded by the fact that one of the dogs reported by her (1707) was reported as a ‘weak’ dog – but was actually a large healthy female. Her movements and eating habits were normal through her stay with us. Surprisingly, the person that Ms Maiya had asked to hand over the dog to us (since she herself was not available when we picked them up, or when we dropped them back), was clear that he did not want the dog back! He specifically said so to our staff, who told him clearly, that the dog would be dropped back. Why Sneha Maiya took his help, is a mystery.
What is also surprising is that Dr Chinny Krishna, Vice Chairperson of the AWBI (to whom Sneha Maiya had forwarded the mail exchange which contains some content that is not mine) – and which has been a reluctant handler of some animal exigencies in the past that’ve been reported on VoSD website as well – decided to make the same assertion about displacement of dogs without first checking with, and verifying from VoSD. It is also on record that in at least 2 previous instances, members / co-opted members of the AWBI, including the said person – have repeatedly demanded that VoSD remove some articles from the VoSD website, which were found inconvenient, for reasons best known to them. Read more