OPEN HOUSE: WHAT MEASURES SHOULD BE TAKEN BY CIVIC BODY TO CURB STRAY DOG MENACE IN CITY?
Time to wake up from slumber
It was about a year back that I wrote a letter in the main section of The Tribune about stray cattle and dog menace. Since then the problem of stray cattle has been solved to a large extent but the problem of the dogs has only worsened. The packs of dogs roam about the streets and roads of the cities like a gang of dacoits. The municipalities are totally inactive and inert in tackling that problem. Some time back MC Ludhiana had asked a veterinary doctor, a Muslim, to sterilise the stray dogs to tame their population. Unfortunately Maneka Gandhi, then a minister and an ardent animal lover, threatened to send that doctor to Pakistan. She was roundly criticised by the people and had to give clarification about the statement. I don’t favour the killings of the dogs but they should be sterilised or at least dog shelters should be made where they could be kept and fed. Many people and social workers would come forward for that noble cause. Stray dogs cause many biting injuries to the public resulting in diseases like rabies. Rabies can also be caused by bite of the cats and bats. This costs the society money and lives. Unfortunately many people, out of compassion, try to feed stray dogs without realising the damages they are doing to the society. Rabies is a fatal disease unless timely treatment is given to that person. So it’s time that municipalities and government wakens up to tackle the dog menace.
Dr JS Wadhwa
MC should swiftly tackle this problem
It is needless to say that the population of stray dogs has been increasing and it is the matter of deep concern. At times, stray dogs become the cause of road accidents, as they suddenly come to the center of the roads owing to which vehicles often collide. Children fall prey to stray dogs while playing in the streets and are bitten at times. Not even children, adults and old aged also succumb to these dogs because they attack in groups. It has become tough to go from one lane to another in the same area because dogs roam here and there. Nobody wants to take a risk in this scenario. The Municipal Corporation should catch all the stray dogs by the help of experts and take them to the jungle and leave them there. If this happens every person can roam freely in the streets, regardless of dog fear.
Govt, dog lovers should come forward
India has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest number of stray dogs and rabies-related deaths per year in the world. Despite a slew of efforts by the governments, the judiciary, the NGOs and private individuals, humongous multiplication in their population across our cities has raised serious concern among residents. These ferocious, free-ranging feral animals cause multiple problems such as dog bites and attacks on pedestrians, the spread of many diseases and burden on the healthcare sector, vehicular accidents, spoiling of roads and streets with putrid faeces, frequent barking, howling and prolonged dogfights, disruption of smooth flow of traffic and fatal danger to wild life. Unlike developed countries, we lack judicious implementation of regulations for animal protection. As a result, these dogs are subjected to cruelty in various forms to the utter annoyance of animal rights activists. The main reasons for the existing problem are population explosion, haphazard urban planning, open and unhygienic garbage disposal system, inadequate provision for dog shelters, financial constraints and lack of coordination between governments, implementation agencies and other stakeholders. No civilised society can compromise the safety of human beings for the sake of stray dogs. If culling them is inhuman and illegal, isn’t public safety the foremost responsibility of civic authorities? The adoption of sustained scientific and systematic measures such as improved waste management mechanism, spreading awareness about the crisis, increased sterilisation, vaccination and adoption will resolve the vexing canine issue humanely. Along with the government, passionate dog lovers should help raise adequate funds for the upkeep of these unwanted, unconfined and homeless animals.
It’s Important to have Stray dog management
Catch and release is a very effective means of reducing stray dog population. It does take money and time. Large populations are public health concerns. It is important to reduce the stray animal population to control the spread of dangerous diseases and stop dog bites and attacks. It is also the cause of a lot of painful deaths for animals as well as humans. If stray dogs are not killed, their population will keep on increasing causing more danger to humans, especially to children. Stray dogs are often carriers of diseases because of the lack of care. It is time for individuals to accept personal responsibility in stray dog management. Gradually, it came to our notice that people feed the street dogs which led to more bites as well as the chance of a disease spreading increases. So, only by killing them, menace can be handled.
Akshar Kumar Singla
Sterilisation the only solution
The number of street dogs is increasing day by day manifold and it becomes difficult for the children to play in park and residents feel scared for their walk in the morning, as they follow them and irritates them. It is very disturbing when they keep barking in chorus the whole night and sometimes slip in to houses in search of food and shelter. Children can’t concentrate on their studies. Small babies are mauled by the stray dogs and a large number of deaths and injuries are caused by dog bites. It becomes really sad and heart-wrenching to see the street dog dies by hitting with some car or scooter and the body lay there for two-three days. Nobody comes out of their houses, so-called dog lovers who feed them, to pay a small sum to dispose them off. It seems imminent that remedial measures be taken. The only solution is to take the dogs for sterlisation and leave them in the same area from where they are picked up. Automatically after few years the population of dogs will come to an end. Street dogs can be adopted also as there are no shelter homes for these loving animals. There will be fewer dogs in the streets.
Plan a comprehensive strategy
The enduring solution to stray dogs menace lies in creating and maintaining a balance between the provisions enacted as per PCAA and the broad guidelines issued by WHO on the subject. While AWBI, an organizational arm of PCAA, aims at converting stray dogs into ‘street dogs’ through an idealistic approach, and WHO emphasises upon the practical measures to combat the menace. The task of managing the persistence of stray dogs has always been a challenging one for any local administration due to dilemma created by the ground realities and relative provisional measures. However, a comprehensive strategy involving movement restrictions, habitat patterns and reproduction controls regarding stray dogs need to be formulated and implemented coherently. To start with, for managing movement and habitat control sufficient shelter homes with adequate facilities are required to be built and maintained by the local administration. In addition to this, public participation for community shelter homes must be solicited to support their love and care for street dogs. In both cases, however, the sterilisation and vaccination of dogs must be carried out under strict supervision and monitoring by local governing bodies. Once the stray dogs’ movements are regulated, suitable habitat provided and their growth is spayed/ neutered through effective process of sterilisation, the problem is expected to be satisfactorily solved over the period.
Banish them to the woods
The stray dogs’ population has been on the rise owing to which there are innumerable cases of dog biting reported. The affliction of stray dogs is ruling the roost and people are expecting administration to take stringent action. There are endless ways to tackle this obstruction but administration does not pay heed to this. They need to take all the stray dogs into the woods and leave them there. This is the only way to get rid of it.
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