Over 26,000 Kashmiris were bitten by dogs in 2017: Govt
Jammu, Jan 15: Srinagar has emerged as the dog capital of the state as the number of dog-bites reported in 2017 were the highest from state’s first city, information revealed by the state government in the state legislature said. Srinagar alone reported 9514 dog bites to the hospitals in 2017. Kashmir had registered a staggering 26923 dog bites last year, the details revealed. These cases reported either to the anti-rabies clinic of the SMHS hospital or to the vast network of hospitals that Directorate of Health Services operates in the periphery of the state. SMHS hospital alone reported 6825 dog reported cases in 2017, the highest in the month of August when 734 cases came to the hospital. Apart from Srinagar, 314 cases from Bandipore, 409 from Budgam, 288 from Baramulla, 116 from Kupwara, 154 from Ganderbal, 205 from Pulwama, 74 from Kulgam, 73 from Shopian, 81 from Islamabad and 61 from other areas reported to the SMHS hospital in 2017, the details tabled in the House said. But the real rush of the dog bite cases was to the peripheral hospitals. Directorate of Health Services said its hospitals managed a load of 20098 dog bite cases in the first 11 months of 2017, ending November. Agains, Srinagar topped the list by sending 4454 dog bite cases to the hospitals. Baramulla topped the list as the district sent 3220 cases, Budgam reported 2762 cases, Islamabad reported 2492 cases, Bandipore sent 742 cases, Ganderbal reported 1119 cases, Kargil 11 cases, Kulgam 1839 cases, Kupwara had 256 cases, Lee 797 cases, Pulwama 1936 cases, as Shopian reported 470 cases. The information was revealed by the state government in a question raised by NC lawmaker Ali Mohammad Sagar. “It is an established fact that multiplication rate of dogs is quite high but their survival rate mainly depends on the availability of the food,” the government explained in the response. “If the food is available in abundance, the multiplication and survival rate will be higher, if the availability of food waste is curtailed this will have a bearing on the life span and proliferation rate of stray dogs.” The response said that Srinagar Municipal Corporation has been constantly focussing on minimising the availability of energy rich food, offal, exclusive non veg garbage generated from house hold poultry outlets, butcher shops, slaughtering places and large quantitates of wasted and left over food from marriage ceremonies, from hotels and restaurants across the city and coupes with Animal Birth Control and anti-rabies programme ABC-AR programme with encouraging results. The response claimed that the cases reported to the SMHS hospital have witnessed a decline over the years. Meanwhile, the government said 30,711 dog bite cases have been reported in Srinagar during the last six years. Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Asiea Naqash told the Legislative Council that 30,711 dog bite cases were registered at an anti-rabies clinic at the SMHC hospital in Srinagar from 2012-13 to 2017-18 up to September. She was replying to the call attention motion of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLC Zafar Iqbal Manhas. Of these 7,000 cases were registered in 2012-13, followed by 6,041 cases in 2013-14, 4,917 cases in 2014-15, 5,100 cases in 2015-16, 5,120 cases in 2016-17 and 2,533 cases in 2017-18 up to September, Naqash said. She said the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been working to tackle the situation. Due to implementation of various strategies, stray bite cases as per the available reports at the hospital over the last few years revealed that there has been around 30 per cent decline in the number of dog bites from 7,000 in 2012-13 to 5,120 in 2016-17, the minister said.