Reports of a new chemosterilant being used in Chennai were premature

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2007:
CHENNAI–Tamil Nadu state health minister K.K.S.S.R.
Ramachandran on April 18, 2007 stirred hope worldwide that Tamil
Nadu Veterinary & Animal Sciences University had developed a new and
better injectable chemosterilant for male dogs.
“Male dogs can be sterilized through injection of cadmium
chloride. This procedure is simpler than birth control surgery,”
Ramachandran told a Chennai workshop on rabies prevention and stray
dog control.
Ramachandran indicated that cadmium chloride injections would
soon be field-tested in Chennai by the local Animal Birth Control
programs. His remarks were amplified that evening by Sanjay Pinto of
NDTV, and by The Hindu, a Chennai-based nationally circulated
newspaper, the next morning.


That Chennai would be first to test a new chemosterilant
seemed plausible. The Blue Cross of India introduced the Animal
Birth Control program concept in 1964. In 1990 the Blue Cross of
India introduced a chemosterilant called Talsur that was promptly
withdrawn after injected dogs developed excessive scrotal swelling.
In 2005 the Blue Cross of India tested Neutersol, the first
chemosterilant licensed for U.S. use. Although Neutersol has long
been used successfully under similar conditions in Mexico, it failed
Indian scrutiny when some of the injected dogs developed scrotal
swelling reminiscent of the Talsur experiment.
But Blue Cross of India chair Chinny Krishna told ANIMAL
PEOPLE and fellow members of the Asian Animal Protection Network that
cadmium chloride is far from being ready for broad deployment, and
may never be an acceptable sterilization method.
“Cadium chloride works as any other corrosive, cell-killing
drug would work,” Krishna said. “It causes scar tissue to form and
then slough off, leaving the dog sterile. However, an unacceptable
level of pain and swelling results, as with most other
chemosterilants. Calcium chloride has been experimentally tried on
just six dogs, under lab conditions. No long-term study has been
made–no short-term study, even.”
Chennai municipal commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni told Kannal
Achuthan of The Hindu that the city estimates there are about 115,000
dogs at large, of whom about 75,000 (65%) are sterilized. The
municipal ABC program sterilizes about 10,000 dogs per year, of
about 13,000 per year who are impounded.
The success of the Chennai ABC program has encouraged the
Tamil Nadu state government and other cities in the state to start
parallel efforts.
Salem, for instance, with an estimated 5,925 street dogs
and 2,540 household pet dogs, and 1,800 reported bites in 2006, in
March 2007 introduced an ABC program.
“Health and veterinary authorities will sterilize and
vaccinate the street marauders and intern them for seven days in the
SPCA’s Hasthampatti dog kennel for post-operative care,” said The
Hindu.
But Tamil Nadu has not been immune from the anti-dog furor
that hit the Bangalore and Hyderabad areas after recent fatal attacks.
“Dharmavaram municipality, Anantapur district,” in southern
Tamil Nadu, on April 14, 2007 “started killing dogs without any
reason or public complaint,” alleged Clementien Pauws of the
Anantapur-based Karuna Society Puttaparthi. “Approximately 200 dogs
were killed in three days,” Pauws said, among them many dogs who
had been sterilized by either the Karuna Society or another local ABC
program.
An ABC delegation to officials managed to stop the
Dharmavaram killing, but “The hysterics from Bangalore and
Hyderabad seem to be very infectious, serving different interests
and politics,” Pauws observed.

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