Authored by Rakesh Shukla for The Voice of Stray Dogs:
BBMP officials, Stray Dog Free Bangalore (SDFB) and the media often selectively quotes from the ABC audit report created KIMS and submitted to BBMP in 2007 in support of the argument that ABC is not working and ABC rules should be amended to resume indiscriminate dog culling. You can see this reports here: ABC performance audit report by KIMS 2007. By itself, and when read with the subsequent data available with BBMP it provides for some startling reading on how the shortcomings and ineffectiveness of BBMP implementation and procedures are being twisted to make a case for culling, where none exists. You can download the BBMP report here Presentation of BBMP’s ABC Program by Dr Parvez Piran ( 2010-11 )
Origin of the report:
In January, 2007 BBMP entrusted the performance audit of Animal Birth Control programme (for Stray Dogs) to the Department of Community Medicine, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) , Bangalore. A five-member team comprising of a Professor of Community Medicine, Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Public Health Specialist (Medical), Biostatistician and a Medical Neurovirologist conducted the audit from February to April, 2007 over a period of 3 months. Data was collected from reports from the Department of Health and Animal Husbandry of BBMP, Veterinary college, Animal Welfare Organizations, Epidemic Diseases Hospital, Victoria Hospital and NIMHANS etc.
Data seen in the light of growth of BBMP administered area:
The Department of Urban Development, Government of Karnataka issued a gazette notification vide no. UDD/92/MNY/2006, dated 2.11.2006 for constitution of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) merging the existing area of BMP with 8 Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and 111 villages of Bangalore urban district. The 8 Urban Local Bodies/CMC merged in BBMP were Bomanahalli CMC, Byatarayanapura CMC, Dasarahalli CMC, K R Puram CMC, CMC, Raja Rajeshwari CMC, Yelahanka CMC and Kengeri CMC.
- Till 2007 the Bangalore Municipal Corporate (BMP) administered an area of 225 sq KM. And the new area under BBMP was 741 sq kms. The area under BBMP increased by 516sq KM of area representing an increase of 230% of urban area. With this sudden change also became the change of the ABC area and it would be logical to think that this would lead to a change of 230% in the incidence of rabies and dob bites, even if all the AWOs were able to perform without a loss of any efficiencey. The data from BBMP itself (available till March 2010 is contrary).
- When BMP became BBMP the budget for ABC went up from Rs 1.21 lacs to Rs 2.1 lacs (an increase of 110% whereas the area had gone up by 230% (clearly not in proportion with this increase)
- The expense on ABC has actually dropped in the subsequent years: it was Rs 1.78 crores in 2008-2009 and Rs 1.04 crores in 2009-2010. Essentially the same expense level as 2002-2003.
- The BBMP is trying to implement ABC in Bangalore in 2011 with the money it spend in 2002 (this is when it is NOT adjusted for inflation).
- The incident of dog bites would however went up from 17,798 in 2006-2007 to 20,555 in 2009-2010. This represents an increase of only 15% when are the area under BBMP/ ABC had gone up by 230%.
- By deduction the incident of dog bite per square kilomter in Bangalore has dropped from 79.1 dog bites/ sq km in 2006-2007 to 27.7 dog bites/ sq km in 2009-2010. This is a clear evidence of the continued effectiveness of the ABC programs
The KIMS Audit report:
The report if often quoted to show that the ABC programme was implemented without a proper plan, strategy, monitoring and supervision particularly at the field level. This has been quoted by the Stray Dog Free Bangalore, BBMP own officials in print and on TV several times. However what none of them quote are the grounds on which this was stated in the report.
- Overall responsbility of BBMP: The responsibility of the ‘plan, startegy, monitoring & supervision” the ABC program is the responsibility of the BBMP. So in effect the report clearly shows that BBMP is ineffective in running the ABC program .
- BBMPs arbitrary planning and targets: The targets given to AWOs are arbitrary and these had been supplied to them by BBMP. Essentially it is AWOs job to cope with this arbitrary target set by BBMP, at the lowest price. The failure in meeting the target is the AWOs but the setting of target has been done my BBMP without sufficient knowledge of dog polulation in work areas of AWO’s.
- Haphazard release of dogs: ABC rules are clear that dogs after spaying or neutering were to be released into the same street/area from where they were caught. But the report says that “neither AWO’s and BBMP were not tracking the exact street/area from where they were caught and released in the registers that were maintained at the AWOs. AWOs mainly depended on the logbook maintained by the vehicle driver or in some cases or on driver’s memory. This leads to dogs being released in to other areas for various reasons viz. drivers’ convenience, time of release, etc.” This too clearly shows BBMPs ability to manage the AWOs in very poor light
- Performance of AWOs: The report states the “overall performance is satisfactory against the targets set by BBMP with 97% achievement for sterilization, 91% achievement for euthanization and 96% for revaccination”.
- Rabies vaccination for Stray Dogs: The responsibility of dog catching and release was done with NO revaccination programme in the area. The report finds that “The target set for AWOs for for revaccination was very low from 2nd year onwards as they required to do annual revaccination of all sterilized dogs”
- Availibility of anti rabies vaccination for people: The report says:
“Anti rabies vaccines are in short supply at BBMP health centers and more importantly there are periods of ‘stock outs’ even at main BBMP store itself. The BBMP has purchased the life saving RIGs only on two occasions!”
“Epidemic Diseases Hospital (Isolation Hospital) on Old Madras Road, Bangalore is the sentinel center for human rabies cases and is the referral hospital for many districts surrounding Bangalore including the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
“Victoria Hospital, a tertiary referral government hospital, situated in the center of city caters to very large numbers of poor people. The
Victoria Hospital had inadequate supply of anti rabies vaccines as compared to large number ofdog bite cases attending OPD. Moreover,
it was surprising that the hospital had not procured and used life saving RIGs.
The report quotes M K Sudarshan et al (2001) and the annual incidence of rabies in Bangalore city was 15.
The audit team recommended that ABC programme maybe continued in future with proper plan, strategy and targets, continuous supervision and evaluation, strengthening of veterinary section of BBMP
Essential primary information/ reading: