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Kashmir municipalities ill-informed, underprepared to deal with canine terror

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Srinagar, Feb 13: Municipal councils across the valley lack information about the population of dogs in their respective areas, with no drive being carried presently to check the canine menace.
The increasing population of dogs has been posing a risk to lives of the inhabitants of the Kashmir, with scores of deaths being reported due to the canine attack annually.
As per the figures over 26,000 cases of dog bites have been reported in 2017 across the Kashmir.
On Monday, a fresh case of attack by canines was reported in Sopore, resulting in a minor’s death.
Amid increasing death toll due to the dog bites every year, the municipal councils all over the valley are yet to act to control the canine population in their respective areas.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), the only body, which initiated the dog sterilisation a few years back, has put the entire process at standstill.
In Srinagar, at least 9,514 dog bites have been reported in its various hospitals last year thus making it an only area to report maximum dog bites in a year.
From issuing an advisory to evade canine attack to notifications for appointing dog catcher or involving NGOs for sterilisation all its measures failed to provide any relief to people.
Its sterilisation Centre at Tengpora is yet to be completed, leaving SMC an only option to rely on SKUAST for carrying dog sterilisation process.
“We will start the process of dog sterilisation various soon in Srinagar,” said SMC’s veterinary Officer Javed Ahmad Rather said.
The situation at towns and villages is even appalling as the respective municipal councils have not carried any process to check dog population so far.
At north Kashmir’s Sopore and Baramulla Municipal Councils, officials said they haven’t carried any drive to check so far to restrict dog population in the area.
“We have to build a hut and then the process of sterilisation of dogs will start. Actually killing them is banned and the issues is being taken with the Animal Husbandary Department,” Executive Officer Sopore Municipal Council, Syed Mateen said.
Budgam which witnessed 3200 cases of dog bite last year is no different to the case of increasing canine attack on people.
“The number of dogs in the town is not known yet. However, there is a proposal with the government to initiate a dog sterilisation drive here,” said Syed Naeem Rizvi Executive Officer Municipal Council Budgam.
Anantnag and Pulwama, which has also witnessed an exponential increase in dog population is yet to start a drive against growing canines.
“We can’t give them poison as court has banned the practice. Normally, whenever we see a pack of dogs our employees in a locality our employees would run after them to displace them,” Mushtaq Ahmad, Executive Officer Pulwama, said.