Has your pet been behaving strangely of late? Blame it on noise pollution, say veterinary doctors in the city. The Bai Sakrabai Dinshaw Patit Hospital for Animals has now enforced a ‘No Honking’ policy on its campus, since the noise traumatises the four-legged inmates of the facility. Even birds are affected by noise pollution.
Most pet owners are unaware that noise pollution could affect animals and birds, say doctors. Noise pollution makes dogs lose their appetite and they become lethargic. Some dogs become aggressive and keep running around to fight the noise. Human-induced noise pollution is one of many factors contributing to the depletion of wildlife population.
According to Dr Pramod Meshram, assistant professor at Bombay Veterinary College, research proves the bad effects of noise pollution on animal and birds. “They suffer from hearing loss resulting from noise levels above 85 decibels, inability to hear important environmental cues and animal signals, and non-auditory physiological effects, such as increased heart rate and respiration.”
Dr JC Khanna, chief functionary at The Bai Sakrabai Dinshaw Patit hospital for animals at Parel, says, “Most people come to our hospital with their pets in cars. We are strictly about people not honking when inside the campus. We need to take even more care during Diwali.”
He says that birds are affected in a similar manner, citing the example of more than 150 pigeons dying during the 26/11 attacks, a few from gunshots but others due to high decibel levels. For some time, pigeons vanished from the Gateway of India and returned after only a few days, says Khanna.
Sachin Bangera from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), says, “Many pets go missing during Diwali as they can’t handle the noise and run away. They keep looking for places with lesser noise, which is futile on Diwali night.”
Dr Sanjay Borude, a Haji Ali resident and obesity surgeon at Breach Candy hospital, says, “My dog recently passed away due to age-related ailments. For 12 years, every Diwali was a nightmare for him. He would get aggressive around the festival. Many times, he would hide under the bed and not eat for days together, till the situation became normal.”