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A factory in Mumbai accused of dumping dye into a river where several dogs turned blue has been shut down. An official made the announcement on Tuesday after alarming pictures emerged of the brightly-coloured canines.

The group of strangely coloured canines was first spotted on 11 August. According to the Hindustan Times, sightings prompted locals to complain to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board about dyes being dumped in the Kasadi river. Animals often swim in the river.

“It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” said Arati Chauhan, head of the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, told the Times. “We have spotted almost five such dogs here and have asked the pollution control board to act against such industries.”

Chauhan had posted images of the blue dogs on the group’s Facebook page. He said the “pollutants from Taloja Industrial area not only ruining the water bodies affecting humans there but also affecting animals, birds, reptiles”.

Official Action

Ms Chauhan wrote to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, a state body, to complain. He also posted images of the dyed dogs online. The board intervened, shutting down the factory for breaching laws on waste disposal after pictures of the egg-shell blue dogs went viral.

“We have shut down the erring firm after it was found they were flouting norms and endangering animals in the vicinity,” Jayant Hajare, the board’s sub-regional officer said.

Ms. Hajare added. An animal welfare agency managed to capture one of the dogs and wash some of the blue dye off. The group concluded that animal seemed unharmed in all other ways.

The Kasadi runs through Taloja. It is Mumbai’s dense industrial zone home to nearly 1000 factories, data from the Mumbai-based Watchdog Foundation shows.

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