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SMC’s dog population figure based on a lame guess

Srinagar, Mar 11: Even as the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) claims to have reduced the population of stray dogs in the city from 70,000 to around 30,000, no concrete survey has been done to arrive at the figures.
Last week, the SMC claimed that it has brought down the population of strays in Srinagar city with its sterilisation programme.
Interestingly, the figure is not supported by any survey, but the corporation has relied on the number of dog bites registered at different health institutes.
“We registered around 7000 dog bite cases in 2012-2013, but last year the number of such cases was only 5,000,” Veterinary Officer SMC, Dr Javaid Rather, told The Kashmir Monitor.
“The figures from the anti-rabies unit at SMHS Hospital have shown a variation this year. The less number of dog bites clearly implies that the numbers of canines has gone down in the city.”
Rather said the corporation was currently conducting the census of dogs in every ward of the city.
“We have received some reports and we do have an idea about the population in some of our wards,” he said.
Rather said the huge quantities of non-vegetarian trash generated in the city were a prime reason for the rising number of dogs.
“Srinagar poultry generates 4,500 kg of non-vegetarian waste. If this waste is not managed properly, it will increase the number of dogs. One kilo of it will be consumed by each dog, leading to increase in its breeding efficiency. We are trying to cover each and every policy of poultry. We are working on the proper waste management,” he said.
As per the SMC census of 2010-2011, the population of dogs were 90,000. Subsequently, an independent research claimed that the population of dogs had reduced to 40,000.
“The latest census is underway. Now, we will be able to reveal the exact number of dog population in the coming months. But the number of dog bites are decreasing, which means the population has also decreased,” Rather said.
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.