HC tells NII to make ‘immuno-contracepetion’ vaccine.
New Delhi: Taking note of the “seriousness” posed by the rising population of monkeys and dogs in the city, the Delhi high court on Friday said that there should be no delay in developing a vaccine for sterilisation of these animals.
A bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C. Hari Shankar called for a status report from the National Institute of Immunology (NII), indicating the progress made by it in developing a vaccine for ‘immuno-contraception’, which would use the animal’s immune response to prevent pregnancy.
The direction came after the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and Gauri Maulekhi, an animal rights activist, told the court that surgical sterilisation of these animals, as was being considered by the Delhi government, would be counter-productive.
They said that surgical sterilisation would disrupt the social groups of the animals, make them more ferocious and leave a human imprint, all of which should be avoided.
They said that several countries, including some in Africa, have developed and used such vaccines, which are administered orall, with good results.
The bench said, “Even African countries have developed it, but we have not been able to do it so far? It is amazing that we have not yet begun. The NII has been taking measures to develop a vaccine for the past several years.”
“Given the seriousness of the problem across the country, the matter brooks no delay. The NII should submit a status report before the court regarding the progress of the vaccine for contraception to control the population of the two animals,” the bench said.
On the issue of attacks by stray dogs and their sterilisation, the court noted the Delhi government has not yet implemented the Supreme Court’s (SC) order issued in Nov. last year.
“No plan or methodology is being followed and no animal birth control committee has been set up as ordered by the SC,” the bench said.
It directed the Delhi government’s secretary of urban development department to file a status report, indicating compliance of the SC’s directions and listed the matter for further hearing on Dec. 12.