November 10, 2011
A Dream Realized: Jaipur Veterinary Training Center
HSI’s commitment to teaching vets how to do easy-to-perform, low-risk spay and neuter surgery as part of a method called Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) has grown over the years, particularly in Asia, where there is an urgent need for ways to humanely control street dog populations.
A full-fledged training center in the region, where veterinarians from various countries can participate in focused training sessions, was a long-cherished dream that has finally come true. Through the commitment of HSI staff in Asia and the U.S., other partner NGOs and individuals, as well as our generous donors, the Jaipur Veterinary Training Center is now a reality.
A wider reach
Kelly O'Meara, director of Companion Animals and Engagement for HSI, said, “There has been an increase in requests for training in recent years, and while we can’t send our teams everywhere, we can offer an opportunity for veterinarians to come to us. That's why this training center in India is so important—HSI is excited to now be able to share our skills with interested vets from all corners of the globe.”
The training center is located in Jaipur, a city known for its beautiful palaces and royal history; it also has a long tradition of fighting for and successfully implementing humane animal birth control programs.
Need for change
The first month-long training program began in November of this year with participants from Iraq and Bangladesh. Both of these countries have been battling dog population issues with little consideration for animal welfare. Iraq sends out gun-toting squads to roam around its cities and towns, shooting any stray in sight, while Bangladesh has been clubbing street dogs to death for years.
Support our efforts to give street dogs a brighter future! Become a Street Dog Defender.
The latter, however, may change. “Through the diligent work of [local animal protection group] Obhoyaronno and our India director, Rahul Sehgal, the government of Bangladesh is now planning to replace inhumane culling with humane capture and spay/neuter programs. HSI applauds Bangladesh officials for their foresight and willingness to consider more humane and effective programs for street dog population control, and their commitment to the training of their local personnel to implement these important changes,” stated O’Meara.
The two veterinarians and four para-vets from Obhoyaronno were enthusiastic throughout the training sessions and emphasized the need for improving animal welfare in Bangladesh.
Nasiruddin Ahmed, one of the para-vets, said, “Clubbing dogs to death is very, very cruel. Have you ever been friends with a dog? It’s an amazing relationship. They are a part of the human eco-system; they are our friends. I am very happy to be here. Having spent months roaming the streets of Dhaka, counting dogs for a recent census, I can tell you with confidence that Bangladeshis love dogs. Many were extremely protective of the dogs in their neighborhood. We can make a difference.”
Worth the effort
As one can imagine, it was no easy feat to arrange for two vets from Iraq to participate. It took two long years of communication and coordination, starting from when the training center was still just a vision.
“Having been a part of the entire exercise, from the very first email exchange to finally meeting the two vets at JVTC, I can say, it was a big victory which brought a broad smile to my face! Knowing the horror stories regarding the shooting of dogs on the streets of Baghdad, the fact that the Iraqi government realized the need for an alternative and assigned the first batch of vets to come and learn more humane and scientific ways of controlling the country's street dog population is fantastic,” said Sehgal.
“HSI was thrilled to engage with Iraqi agencies regarding their interest in Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release. After nearly two years of discussion, having the Iraqi vets in place at our training center in Jaipur, India this month is truly amazing and it certainly proves that any country can consider a humane approach to street dog overpopulation,” O'Meara added.
“For two decades, we were isolated from the world,” said Dr.A-Wali, one of the trainee-vets from Baghdad. “We couldn’t imagine looking up information on the Internet, let alone attend a training program like this one. I am happy to be here and I will be incredibly sad to leave. However, I am glad to be making a difference in my country.”
Dr. A-Wali’s colleague, Dr.Al-Sudni, was very optimistic about the Iraqi government’s efforts and said that with the implementation of programs like these, Iraqi vets might be able to bring the stray dog population under control in less than five years. You can help make it happen.