Srinagar, May 15 : Authorities in Srinagar have sterilized thousands of stray dogs whose population has been increasing at an alarming rate.
The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), after facing criticism from animal rights activists over poisoning the canines, has now resorted to sterilizing them.
SMC, in association with the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Kashmir, the Animal Husbandry Department and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) launched the program in the city to combat dog menace through sterilization and anti-Rabbies vaccination of the canines.
Residents in the valley who have been troubled by the canines are happy that finally measures are being taken to control the population of the dogs without any cruelty to them.
"Earlier, they used to poison dogs, that was a bad thing. Now they sterilize, this is a good drive to control the population of the dogs. It would come as a relief to the people here who are troubled by the 30,000-35,000 dogs in Srinagar alone," said Farooq Ahmad, a resident.
Voicing similar opinion, Javid Iqbal, in-charge, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said, " I want to say that if the dogs are sterilized, then it will become easier for us to control this menace."
Members of AWBI who have launched this pilot project sterilized a couple of female dogs on the spot. They said that sterilization is better means to control the population then poisoning them.
"The population of dogs has increased. This drive is to control the population and also prevent the people from the menace of dog bites. This is a pilot project of AWBI. We have got a special team for the same," said Rayees, a doctor from Jaipur.
Earlier, SMC had poisoned over 500 dogs and were planning to poison thousands more in the city. But, the program got shelved after animal rights campaigners threatened to move the court on grounds of cruelty.