Moratuwa University Vice Chancellor Prof. A.K.W. Jayawardane yesterday denied that Moratuwa University authorities were responsible for the deaths of the dogs and cats and however said there was a fatal accident by its security personnel mistakenly.
While denying animal rights activists’ charges, Prof. Jayawardane said the animals were sedated by the University security officers (Rakna Lanka) as it was part of their job not to allow any stray animals into the university facility.
He said the University Medical Centre had records of students who were bitten by these stray dogs therefore concerning the threat to the students and following the complaints received from them, the University authority decided to send the animals away.
However, he said the as a recognized university in the country the Moratuwa University authority did not condone such incidents.
“We maintain a dog free environment within the university premises. It is an unfortunate that the security officers overdosed the animals when they attempted to sedate them. We are also unhappy about the fatal accident, but it is not us who are responsible for their deaths. We would take preventive measures to prevent such recurrence,” Vice Chancellor said.
He further said the method that was used to sedate the animals could not be approved and the university condemned such animal cruelty .
Meanwhile, the State Veterinary Surgeons’ Association (SVSA) condemned the incident during a press conference held at Colombo yesterday.
SVSA Secretary Dr. P. L. Kumarawadu said any individual or a group can complaint to the Veterinary Council of such indigenous sedation as it is not possible to carry out such a task without a veterinary surgeon.
He also said the Veterinary Council had enforced the law on several malpractices especially on a case reported in the Habaraduwa area in 2007.
Dr. Kumarawadu said according to the prevailing law it allows the killing of the stray animals using a standard method only under the guidance of a veterinary surgeon however, the law doesn’t allow animal cruelty and therefore charges can be leveled against those responsible.
On Sunday evening, the university students had recovered 10 cats and two dogs on Sunday (16) evening buried in a pit at Homagama opposite a state bank, after being sedated using an anesthetic drug.
Dr. Kumarawadu told the Daily Mirror that this drug was not used to sedate dogs in Sri Lanka as it should be used with caution.
Animal right activists charged that the Rakna Lanka Security Agency which is in charge of the university security had overdosed the animal with Ketamine leading the poor animals to a tragic death.