Sterilisation drive mulled for stray dogs in J-K

Azhar Qadri

Srinagar, Feb 13 (PTI) With growing cases of dog bitesand the population of stray canines crossing a lakh, the Jammuand Kashmir government plans to launch a sterilisation driveand provide incentives to dog catchers.

"It has been decided that Srinagar MunicipalCorporation (SMC) will train some of its staff as dogcatchers. Rs 50 would be given as incentive for every male dogcaught by them," an official of the civic body said.

The sterilised dogs would be tagged and releasedlater, he said.

A society for prevention of cruelty on animals willalso be constituted in each district headed by the respectiveDeputy Commissioner, the official said.

He said the state government has submitted a projectproposal of Rs 4.5 crore to the Animal Welfare Board of Indiato check the growing population of stray dogs.

"In order to stabilise the growth of the population ofstray dogs, the Srinagar Municipality Corporation (SMC) hasprepared a project proposal of Rs 4.5 crore which has beensubmitted to the Animal Welfare Board," he said.

The government also requested expertise and funds forscientific sterilisation of dogs.

The official said 50 per cent expenditure will beborne by Animal Welfare Board and the remaining by the stategovernment.

In January, an eight-year-old boy died after he wasbitten by a dog at Uri area of Baramulla district.

Dr Muneer Masoodi from Social and Preventive Medicinestold PTI that 3,951 dog bite cases were registered from April1 to December 31 last year.

"The total number of dog-bite cases was 3,951. Theworst affected district is Srinagar followed by Budgam andBandipora."

Director Health Services, Kashmir, Mohammad Amin saidgovernment was initiating an multi-pronged policy to check thegrowing population of stray dogs.

Anti-rabies vaccines are available in all the districtheadquarters, he added.

There are an estimated one lakh stray dogs in theKashmir Valley and dog catchers will be placed near garbagedumps to catch the canines for sterilisation.

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences andTechnology of Kashmir and State Animal Husbandry Departmentwill provide the technical support to the SMC for conductingsterilisation.

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