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No end to growing stray dog menace in Srinagar

02:15 AM May 13, 2024 IST | Rabiya Bashir
no end to growing stray dog menace in srinagar
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Srinagar, May 12: With authorities failing to check the stray dog menace, people of Srinagar are gripped with fear over the surge in growing population of canines.

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The breeding season of the stray dogs, which typically occurs during spring causes an increase in dog bites cases.

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Srinagar has been significantly impacted by dog bite incidents, recording 6,519 cases between April 2023 and March 2024. The Kashmir Valley recorded 6,800 animal bite cases, with over 80% involving stray dogs, during the 2022-23 period.

Highlighting the potential contributing factors, residents said that the abundance of waste generated by households, hotels, restaurants, poultry outlets, and mutton shops provides a readily available food source for stray dogs.

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“If this waste is not managed properly, it can fuel the breeding efficiency and population growth of these dogs,” they said.

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The alarming frequency of dog bite incidents has become a serious concern for residents, particularly vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly.

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"The sight of packs of stray dogs roaming the streets is already distressing, but with the breeding season approaching, the situation could become even more dire. We fear for our safety, especially for children and the elderly,” said Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Khanyar.

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Dr Tawheed Ahmad, Veterinary Officer at SMC, told Greater Kashmir that they have been working on expanding infrastructure since 2022 to address the issue of stray dogs in Srinagar.

“It's crucial to have the necessary facilities in place, akin to a hospital, when conducting large-scale surgeries and interventions. We've invested significant resources, approximately 2 to 3 crores, in establishing a centre at Tengpora with a capacity to accommodate 50 to 60 dogs," he said.

Ahmad said that they have established another centre where 70 to 80 surgeries will be performed every day.

“Our goal is to increase our total surgical capacity to around 200 surgeries per day once the new centre is fully operational,” he said.

He further said that the Animal Birth Control (ABC) program, which commenced last year, has seen a substantial increase in surgical capacity.

"Sterilizing just a few dogs a day won't address the magnitude of the issue. We need to conduct surgeries on a much larger scale across different wards to effectively control the population,” Ahmad said

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