No end to dog menace in Kashmir; SMHS receives 130 case in two days
Srinagar, Apr 29: The anti-rabies ward at the SMHS Hospital received at least 130 dog bite cases in the last two days. On Friday and Saturday, the hospital received 130 cases—50 fresh cases and 80 follow-ups. “There is not a single day without receiving dog bite cases. We mostly receive cases from the city. People of different ages including children come here every day for the vaccination. We feel so bad about the children,” said a doctor. “We give anti-rabies injections to the patients. In severe cases, we give them vaccination along with a dose of rabies immunoglobin,” he said. Despite various initiatives taken by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), especially birth control programmes, no strategy seems to be effective in curbing the dog menace. Veterinary Officer SMC, Dr Javaid Rather, said, “Curbing the menace is a big challenge because multiplication of the stray dogs is very high. They have two breeding seasons in a year. In each season breeding dogs can give birth to 15 pubs and each female dog adds 30 pubs to the population every year.” “If there are 20 thousand female dogs in a city, we can expect a rise of 2 lakh dogs in a year. This alarming multiplication of the stray dogs is a big challenge, and we cannot kill the dogs,” he said. He further said that they have adopted some strategies to control the menace. “We are minimizing the open garbage points in the city. We have started door to door garbage collection of the poultry units as well. We are coming up with more animal birth control and sterilizations centres where around 80 sterilization surgeries on stray dogs will be carried out per day.” Last month, the SMC claimed to have reduced the population of stray dogs in the city from 70,000 to around 30,000. The SMC claimed that it had brought down the population of strays in Srinagar city with its sterilisation programme, but the figure was not supported by any survey. The corporation had relied on the number of dog bites registered at different health institutes. As per the SMC census of 2010-2011, the population of dogs was 90,000. Subsequently, an independent research claimed that the population of dogs had reduced to 40,000. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir government revealed that a total of 20,098 dog bite cases were registered in Kashmir Valley in 2017. Alone at the SMHS Hospital, a massive 6,825 dog bite cases were reported in the last year. The Jammu and Kashmir Government had recently informed that 30,711 dog bite cases have been reported in Srinagar during the last six years.