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Srinagar, Apr 20 (UNI) Expressing apprehension that the vegetarian ''Bakerwali dog'' working with Gujjar and Bakerwals to protect their livestock from wild animals from centuries, will become a history of the past, the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF) has appealed to the state government to save the existing rarest of rare specie.

Dr Javaid Rahi, National Secretary of the TRCF, an organisation working on tribal affairs of India, said the nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals of the state were to lose the rarest of rare traditional and indigenous species of world famous ''Bakerwali dog'' within the next few decades.

He said a latest survey conducted by TRCF said the rugged, courageous and serious shepherd dog was among the most threatened species in the world and is at the verge of extinction .

Dr Rahi said this ''Bakerwali dog'' is distinctive with nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals from the times immemorial.

He said since 1990 a steep decline in number of Bakerwali shepherded Dogs was found as hundreds of dogs were being killed during insurgency in the state in higher reaches.

As per the survey the Bakarwali shepherd dog is an ancient working breed found in the Hindukush, and Himalayan belt of Indian subcontinent , where it has been bred for many centuries by the Gujjar nomadic tribes as a livestock guardian and settlement protector.

Survey further revealed that there are only a few hundred dogs of this particular specie surviving in most difficult and inhospitable conditions. Dozens of Dogs die every year because of throat, rabies and other infections for which no effective vaccine has been put into operation.

He said the interesting part the survey revealed that a Bakerwali shepherd bitch, which is already under decline, gave birth to pup only once in a whole year that too numbering one to four as compared to other breeds which have potential to give to four to twelve pups simultaneously.

The survey further said the growing demand in Indian and foreign market has resulted increase of smuggling and theft from original habitats.

He said the rarest Bakerwali dog belongs to oldest than any other breeds of dogs of Central Asia.

The survey further revealed that Bakarwali dogs eat only milk products and bread, he said, adding they avoid the flesh of any type. The dog is as strong as Jaguar and at testing times can fight any wild animal to protect the livestock and their masters.

''This is the only specie of dogs in the Himalyan belt of India which is capable to take care of a large herds of goats and sheep during the tribal migrations and is very protective of their masters, the survey said.

Commonly known for its deep-chested, muscular and agile, the Gujjar Sheepdog has a straight back, broad shoulders and long legs.

The survey added that no comprehensive research project has taken by Union or state governments to preserve this rarest of the rare specie of the world for all generations to come.

UNI BAS MYK SV KN1438

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