Activities of Blue Cross of India

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Go down this page and see the progress of the Blue Cross over the years

Medical waste disposal

Blue Cross has always been managing its medical waste in an ethical manner but six months ago, when shortage of space for deep burial began to hamper our methods, GJ Multiclave India, Pvt Ltd stepped in at the right time. With three plants, the first in Hyderabad in 2000, the second in Chennai in July 2003 and the third in Pallakkad in Jan 2004., they have been lending a helping hand for all hospitals to dispose off their medical waste in the best interest of the public at large. In close association with IMA, with a Common Treatment Facility in Thenmelpaakam village near Singaperumal koil in Kanchipuram district, they have been clearing the medical waste from over 170 hospitals, big and small, in and around Chennai. Blue Cross is the only animal shelter which has approached them to handle our waste as in used cottons, bandages, needle sharps, syringes, gloves, iv bottles etc. The waste is segregated into three categories, and put in containers marked for that purpose. Red bags denote plastic and other non biodegradable material, Yellow is for degradable waste like soft tissues, surgically removed anatomical parts, and a transparent white container for other solids. This is cleared everyday and incinerated, autoclaved ,shredded or securely land filled as the case may be.

Mr Sanjay who heads the company can be contacted at 044 22413016 or 9381068642 or at ctf@hotmail.com 

We're indeed grateful to them for having waived the usual fee for collection after they visited us and realised the work and volume that went into our day to day activities.

Shelters

March 31, 1998

Shelters

About 3,000 rescued animals passed through our shelters during the year. Due to severe constraints of money and space, it is impossible for the Blue Cross to pick up and take in stray animals. However, no injured or sick animal has been turned away and on many occasions, our ambulances have traveled 40 or 50 kilometers to pick up sick or wounded animals. In addition, stray animals found in places like airports and schools and lost pets have been taken in and efforts made to rehome them.

400 to 500 animals are present in our shelters at any point of time. Of the monies spent on the shelters during the year, the major portion is the cost of animal feed.

Shelters

While cattle, dogs and cats are the main categories of animals at our shelters, birds, white mice, squirrels, horses, donkeys, deer and even a monitor lizard have found temporary homes with us. All stray cattle rounded up by the Corporation of Madras and not claimed by their owners within 15 days are now handed over to us. These cattle were formerly auctioned by the Corporation and usually ended up in the slaughter house. They are now relocated to pinjrapoles (home for old animals) in Mysore, Bangalore, Vellore and other places at substantial expense to the Blue Cross.

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Rehoming

For the year ended March 31, 1998

Of the animals rescued by us and many abandoned by their owners, only 1,010 were placed in homes in adoption. This includes 125 dogs, 692 puppies, and 191 kittens. Cattle handed over to us by the Corporation of Madras to save them being slaughtered were rehomed in our shelters and in other pinjarapoles. 215 such cattle were rescued and 35 were rehomed in other pinjarapoles.

The Corporation of Chennai had decided to discontinue the bullock-drawn conservancy carts and auction the bullocks. To prevent the bullocks from being sent to the slaughter house after a lifetime of hard work, the Blue Cross persuaded the Corporation to hand over all 700 bullocks which were later rehomed in pinjrapoles at Mysore, Bangalore, Vellore and Madras.

…and in  2003-04

Following the decision of the Chennai Corporation to remove all cattle from the city, an intensive drive was launched in June 2003. Following several court cases and stay orders, the High Court finally ruled that only cattle straying on the streets could be removed. The Corporation called for auctioning of the seized cattle  which meant that healthy lactating cattle would end up in the slaughter houses. Our appeal to the Commissioner of the Corporation, Mr. Vijaykumar, resulted in a ruling by the Corporation that the animals would be handed over to the Blue Cross instead of being auctioned.

In the nine months since June 2003, over 2400 cattle have been saved from slaughter by the Blue Cross. We are most thankful to the Govardhan Trust and its Chairman Mr. Natesan and Mr. Raghavan of Govardhan who helped us to relocate most of these cattle in goshalas in Tamil Nadu. The cost of this exercise, physically and financially, has been a major strain on us but it had to be done.

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Go down this page to see the progress of the Blue Cross over the years.

ABC – Animal Birth Control (ABC)

January 2004

The ABC programme continues, but with great difficulty. It is only due to a very generous grant from the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust that we have been able to increase the work in this area. Funds from the Central Government having slowed down, it is conceivable that we might have had to drastically cut back on this work but for the Marchig grant received. We have now taken up the ABC programme in Kanchipuram District and our work in Thiruvellore District and Chennai continues. The Blue Cross is the only organization in India working in three districts for the ABC programme.

The Blue Cross has always shared its limited resources with others working for the same cause. A training programme was conducted in the distant Andaman Islands as well as at Ootacamund and Conoor in the Nilgiris.

A donation of over 400 spay hooks was made to the McKee Project in Costa Rica to help them expand their programme. Donations of equipment was also made to several PfAs and SPCAs and a dozen large dog cages to Animal Care Land in Tirupathi. Many individuals working in their own way for animals were given equipment. They include Ms. Bakul Khatau of Bombay (a member of the Bombay SPCA and several other Bombay groups); Ms. Devika Mukherjee of Fidelis Advertising, Madras who uses our cat traps and squeeze cages; Lynn D’Souza of the Goa SPCA and many others.

In January 2004, 1040 animals were spayed/neutered and over 1600 were administered the anti-rabies vaccine.

August 1998

The Animal Birth Control programme (ABC) for street dogs has been extended to Alandur, Tambaram (West), Palavakkam and Injambakkam. This would not have been possible but for the help and co-operation we receive from the RUKMINI DEVI ARUNDALE TRUST, Mr. R.S. Bharathi, Chairman, Alandur Municipality, Ms.Mallika Ravindar, Ms.Gouhar Aziz and the management of VGP who have given us space at their Golden Beach Resort at Injambakkam to carry out surgery which is conducted regularly.

ABC

       The air-conditioned mobile surgery donated in 1996 by the   Rukmini Devi Arundale Trust for our ABC programme

THANK YOU, Mr. BHARATHI!

Mr. R. S. Bharathi, Chairman of the Alandur Municipal Corporation, immediately responded to our request to stop the poisoning of street dogs and adopted the ABC approach. He has made available a large shed behind the Municipal Office and has put in water supply and electricity connections for the make-shift surgery and postoperative care. Over 100 animals have, so far, been sterilized in Alandur since May 1998.

March 31, 1998

For the past nine years, the Blue Cross has not been charging even pet owners for the Animal Birth Control (ABC) operations. This year, 2,476 animals have been sterilized. Most of the operations are carried out in the new premises at Guindy.

The mobile surgery van of the Rukmini Devi Arundale Trust has made it possible for the Blue Cross to conduct sterilizations at locations outside the city such as Pallavakkam, Tambaram, Porur and T.Nagar.

Heavily subsidized, this free program has been made possible thanks to a major grants from the Animal Welfare Board and the Alice Morgan Wright-Edith Goode Fund of the HSUS, U.S.A. During 1997-98, a special grant was received from the RSPCA, England towards the ABC program.

The number of sterilization cases was as follows:

Street animals 1,316 Owner animals 1,160

September 1996

Since April 1, 1995, the Corporation of Madras has been handing over all the dogs caught by them in the area south of the Adyar River to the Blue Cross for vaccination, sterilization, marking and return to the same area from which each one was picked up.

To ensure that the program is properly implemented, one of our supervisors accompanies the dog van. Each dog caught is carefully tagged as to the exact location from which it is picked up. After neutering the males / spaying the females, the animals are housed and fed till the sutures are removed, de-wormed, vaccinated and released from where they were picked up. Operated dogs are identified by tattooing / ear - notching. While we would prefer to stick to tattooing only, the Corporation dog squad insist on some way by which operated animals can be identified from a distance.

The areas covered since April 1995 are Gandhinagar, Sastrynagar, Indira Nagar, Besant Nagar, Kalakshetra

Colony, Thiruvanmiyur, Taramani, Kotturpuram, Guindy, Saidapet (south of Marmalong Bridge), Ekkaduthangal (east of Adyar river), St. Thomas Mount and Velachery.

While about 30 dogs were collected each week from these areas in April / May / June 1995, the number of animals caught each week from these areas has gradually come down to less than 10 per week and on many occasions to less than five. The dog squad do not collect animals already operated and they and our supervisor report seeing many sterilized animals on their rounds.

Hopefully, the vast majority of street dogs in these areas will be sterilized by March 1997 and we can then see a noticeable drop in the street dog population.

All over the world, it has been found that catching and destruction of stray dogs has never led to a long term reduction of the stray dog population. This is primarily due to two reasons. The first is that dogs from the neighboring areas move in to fill the vacuum created by the removal of stray dogs in one area. Secondly, the number of stray animals in any area will go up rapidly to an optimum limit which is sustained by the availability of food and breeding grounds (vacant lots, construction sites, etc.).

The only way that a lasting, long term solution can be found is by a sensible system of mass sterilization of animals while, at the same time, protecting these animals against rabies. It is important that the animals taken from any area for sterilization and vaccination are released in the same area. Releasing them in strange surroundings will make them more aggressive and less sociable. Animals from other areas will tend not to migrate into these areas, because of the territorial instinct of the animals.

It must be realised that, in India, most of the so-called stray dogs in urban areas are in reality community - owned dogs. Most of them are looked after and fed by several shop keepers or householders. Leaving them back in the same area will ensure that they are looked after and, since they are accustomed to the area and the people there, they will continue to be non-aggressive. If anything, after spaying or neutering, they would tend to be more docile than earlier. Also, since they are vaccinated against rabies, they will not pose any risk of rabies transmission.

We are now coordinating with the Corporation of Madras to hand over to us the dogs in the sector north of the Adyar River and bounded by Radhakrishnan Salai and Mount Road. We are also coordinating with People for Animals and the SPCA to take over all dogs caught north of Poonamallee High Road for sterilization and release.

By the end of 1997, the area between Mount Road and Poonamallee High Road (Egmore, Chintadripet, Chetpet,

Nandambakkam, Kodambakkam and Mambalam) will also be covered. In the meantime, the programme launched by the Blue Cross in co-operation with the Rukmini Devi Arundale Trust (RDAT) using the mobile surgery will continue in the Panchayat areas around Madras.

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Hospitals

March 31, 1998

The Hospitals at Adyar and Guindy have worked on all 365 days and have treated 32,482 and 498 animals respectively. Besides the four full-time veterinarians who attend to cases during the daytime, a doctor is on duty to attend to emergency cases during the nights. Specialists are called in whenever required.

25,232 animals were outpatients and 4,823 were animals who were rescued and brought to the shelters. 2,925 were inpatients at Adyar.

Like all our other activities, the hospital services are totally free of charge. Only owners who bring their pets for vaccinations are charged the cost of the vaccine. Approximately 17% of the total expenditure during the year was for the hospital.

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Mobile Dispensary

March 31, 1998

In addition to the ABC operations carried out at the Hospital, ABC operations have been started in village areas around Madras from April 1, 1996 with the co-operation of the Rukmini Devi Arundale Trust who have made available a fully equipped mobile surgery and clinic on wheels. The capital outlay of this project as well as the running expenses including the salaries of the surgeon, driver and attender and the cost of medicines are being met by the Trust. Operations were done in Pallavakkam, Chitlapakkam, Tambaram, Injambakkam and Guindy.

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Work with Other NGOs

March 31, 1998

The surgeons of the Blue Cross, especially Dr T. P. Sekar, spent a great deal of time and effort in training surgeons working for other non-governmental organisations (NG0s) in spaying/neutering. Dog catchers from Patna were trained by them in more humane methods of catching dogs, with the help of the Corporation of Madras. The expenses for this program were met by the Animal Welfare Board, India.

Last year, in co-ordination with the Animal Welfare Board of India and other NG0s, an ambitious plan had been drawn up to completely stop the destruction of stray dogs by the Corporation of Chennai and, in its place, set up mass sterilization programs. The Corporation converted their existing dog pound for this and have stopped electrocution of stray animals.

From April 1, 1995, dogs caught by the Corporation in South Chennai, on two days per week, are handed over to the Blue Cross for sterilization and vaccination. Each dog is tagged when caught, so as to be returned to the exact spot from where it was collected, after spaying, deforming and protection against rabies. Thanks to other NG0s joining in, it is hoped to bring down the number of street dogs substantially before the year 2000. Results in South Madras have been beyond expectations.

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Ambulance Services

March 31, 1998

Ambulance Services

                      1998:The ambulance donated by the Lions Clubs of Madras in 1987

Only two ambulances are now available round the clock. 4,823 animals were rescued by the ambulances during 1997-98. In addition, 1316 street dogs were released after the ABC operations using these vehicles.

Ambulance Services

1985: A Standard 20 ambulance donated by the Blue Cross to the Police Department. On the right is the Morris ambulance donated in 1965 by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Vivisection; Animal Defenders and Antivivisection Society; National Anti-Vivisection Society and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (all of the UK)

The Lions ambulance was taken out of service last year after 12 years. During that time it had helped over 17,000 animals in distress. All efforts are being made to get a replacement ambulance to cope with the large number of calls received.

Ambulance Services

Ambulance Services

Top: The first ambulance with a hydraulic lifter bought in 1994 and below: an ambulance donated in 1995 by the Lions Club of Mylapore, running costs of which were sponsored by CITIBANK for a year.

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Other Blue Cross Org.

March 31, 1998

During the last five years, the Blue Cross of Hyderabad, Blue Cross of Pune, Blue Cross of Guwahati, Blue Cross of Patna, Blue Cross Society of Madhubani, Blue Cross Society of Hissar, Blue Cross Society of Assam, Blue Cross Society of Pondicherry, Blue Cross Society of Gopalganj and Blue Cross of Coimbatore have come into existence.

The Blue Cross of India extends whatever help is possible in providing a model Memorandum and Articles of Association, Statements of Policy, Bye-laws, etc, to cut down the initial paper work required to register a new organization. Special items such as graspers, gloves and other animal handling equipment, hospital and surgical equipment and humane education material including computer programs have been given to some of these new organizations as well as to many other groups all over the world.

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Animals can suffer like humans do, so it is speciesism to experiment on them while we refrain from experimenting on humans. All suffering is undesirable, whether it be in humans or animals. Discriminating against animals because they do not have the cognitive ability, language, or moral judgment that humans do is no more justifiable than discriminating against human beings with severe mental impairments. As English philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote in the 1700s, "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"

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Animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings. 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials. According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, over 100 stroke drugs that were effective when tested on animals have failed in humans, and over 85 HIV vaccines failed in humans after working well in non-human primates. A 2013 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) found that nearly 150 clinical trials of treatments to reduce inflammation in critically ill patients have been undertaken, and all of them failed, despite being successful in animal tests. A 2013 study in Archives of Toxicology stated that "The low predictivity of animal experiments in research areas allowing direct comparisons of mouse versus human data puts strong doubt on the usefulness of animal data as key technology to predict human safety."

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Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe. The 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. Animal tests on the arthritis drug Vioxx showed that it had a protective effect on the hearts of mice, yet the drug went on to cause more than 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths before being pulled from the market.

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Animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects. The anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings. Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that "it's very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we're trying to achieve in the human." Thomas Hartung, Professor of evidence-based toxicology at Johns Hopkins University, argues for alternatives to animal testing because "we are not 70 kg rats."

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Stop Animal testing!
Use alternative testing methods!

Alternative testing methods now exist that can replace the need for animals. In vitro (in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used. Microdosing, the administering of doses too small to cause adverse reactions, can be used in human volunteers, whose blood is then analyzed. Artificial human skin, such as the commercially available products EpiDerm and ThinCert, is made from sheets of human skin cells grown in test tubes or plastic wells and can produce more useful results than testing chemicals on animal skin. Microfluidic chips ("organs on a chip"), which are lined with human cells and recreate the functions of human organs, are in advanced stages of development. Computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures, can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals.

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Important Information : Telephone line and Power supply down at Blue Cross of India , In the process of digging for Metro-water work happening on the road to Blue Cross they have cut the electrical and telephone cables . As a result of this we don't have any power supply and are running on Genset power intermittently. Also the telephone lines are down so temporarily no one is able to get in touch with us. Kindly bear with us till the situation is sorted out . We will update as soon as this is rectified. ... See MoreSee Less

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