Chandigarh, November 19
As there has been a significant increase in dog bite cases, Punjab seems to be struggling to control the stray dog population.
As per the 20th Livestock Census, the state has 2.9 lakh stray dogs. However, the number is likely to be much higher than the official estimates. Such a huge population has emerged as public health hazard in the state.
As per a study ‘Stray Dogs and Public Health: Population Estimation in Punjab’, conducted by Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, which appeared in journal Veterinary Sciences, the dog population in the state ranges from 5.19 lakh to 15.69 lakh.
“Our estimates are higher than previous estimates. Therefore, the potential impact and the impact of stray-dog population control requires assessment,” the study observed.
The study was conducted in one village from each of the 22 selected sub-districts, three towns (less than 1,00,000 human population) and two large cities (more than or equal to 1,00,000 human population) that were randomly selected.
The study found that the number of male dogs was significantly higher than the number of females and the number of adult dogs was about three times the number of young dogs.
“Based on different methods, estimates of the mean stray dog population in the state of Punjab ranged from 5,19,000 to 15,69,000,” says the study.
The current study observed that there are a substantial number of stray dogs and a high number reside in rural (versus urban) areas in Punjab.
“The estimated stray dog numbers pose a potential public health hazard in the state. This impact requires proper assessment.”
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