New Delhi, Dec 12 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today sought to know the possibility of importing a vaccine for sterilisation of monkeys and dogs to control their rising population in the national capital.
The court observed that the development of such a vaccine for immuno-contraception which would use an animals immune response to prevent pregnancy was at an initial stage in India, adding that the process should be expedited.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the vaccine was being used in other countries, and the possibility of developing an indigenous contraceptive vaccine was being considered.
“Why cannot we import this vaccine? We would like to know the possibility of it,” it said.
The high court observed that the rising population of monkeys in the city was alarming.
Perusing the status report filed by the National Institute of Immunology (NII), the court said it showed that the development of the vaccine to control the population of animals, including monkeys, was still at the initial stage and the trial has not yet started.
“We are here to help you and this project. If you need anything, tell us. But it cannot be a 10 year programme,” the bench observed.
The NII said in the report that once the vaccine candidates developed by the institute were validated, it will lead to development of indigenous contraceptive vaccine for population management of wildlife and thereby, mitigate the human-wildlife conflict.
The high court had earlier said there should be no delay in developing a vaccine for sterlisation of monkeys and dogs.
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 animals, as was being considered by the Delhi government, would be “counter-productive”.
They said surgical sterilisation would disrupt the social groups of animals, make them more ferocious and also leave a human imprint, all of which need to be avoided.
They had earlier said that several countries, including some in Africa, have developed and used such vaccines which are administered orally.
On the issue of attacks by stray dogs and their sterilisation, the HC had noted that the Supreme Courts order of November last year had not yet been implemented by the Delhi government.
The court was hearing two PILs seeking directions to the authorities to take steps to deal with the menace of monkeys and dogs as well as protection of peacocks.
Date:Dec 12, 2017