Mumbai, India – opinion/news story: The enduring battle between simply destroying stray and feral cats or taking the more humane route of TNR was recently played out in block of flats in Mumbai, India and the outcome is surprising for me. The report comes from The Hindu online newspaper.
A resident, Arvind Rao, of a large housing complex managed by the Manavsthal Cooperative Housing Society, says that fellow residents were keen to get rid of six stray cats on the property. Sounds familiar in the West? There are countless examples of stray cats annoying a section of residents in housing estates in the US. The same thing happens in India.
Rao looked after the cats. Yes, there is always someone who is an animal advocate who has to wrestle with that burden in a society were others have differing viewpoints.
I used to look after the cats and suggested less drastic measures to society members. Cats are territorial animals. Urinating is a way for them to mark their territory and attract mates. Sterilising the cats would have solved the issue,” Rao said.
Rao wanted to do TNR on the cats but the others rejected the idea. A ‘watchman’ was seen grabbing a pregnant cat by her neck and bundling her into a gunny bag. Two others took the cat outside the property and the cat disappeared. Rao generously says that the cat was relocated. The more likely outcome was that the cat was killed.
Mr Rao complained to the authorities about the behaviour of the authorised officer of the building and three others. I am surprised to read that they have been ‘booked’ under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. I have no idea what ‘booked’ means. Does it mean that they were arrested for animal cruelty? I doubt it. But it is nice to know that the police did something to protect animal rights.
The building’s authorised officer said that he had to remove the cats because sterilising them ‘wouldn’t have solved the problem completely’. This is the same argument used by Americans who are against TNR: it is too slow and ineffective. TNR is effective if one is patient and committed.
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She can’t hear or speak. She cleans the streets of Chennai, India. She feeds and talks to the stray cats and dogs.