Situation grim as dog bite cases continue to rise

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Nov 2017 10:57:02


By Dhanendra Chourasia,

UTTER negligence of Jabalpur Municipal Corporation (JMC) in catching and sterilising stray canines and dearth of well-equipped laboratory to execute birth control operation smoothly on them is adding to stray dog menace in the city. Although, the Health Department of JMC makes tall claims of making all efforts to control the menace, but it actually is doing nothing on ground to resolve the issue. Stray dogs have become more troublesome for denizens as they are continuously proving a threat to people. Dog biting cases are constantly reported from every part of the city. The situation is turning grave as the civic body lacks proper dog squad and also has no equipment to catch stray canines. Apart from that, it also lacks well-equipped laboratory to vaccinate and sterilise canines. Shortcomings are further worsening the problem which if not handled properly will become unmanageable.

It is astonishing but true that thousands of stray canines are roaming freely on city streets. JMC is not catching dogs and shirking its responsibility as it has no place to keep canines until they are vaccinated and sterilised. The civic body lacks proper dog squad which exists in Municipal Corporations of big cities, to catch street dogs regularly. Besides, it is not equipped with dog traps and other allied things used to catch dogs. To tackle the menace, the Health Department had a few years back planned to establish a laboratory at Veterinary Science University, where stray dogs could be vaccinated.

Main objective of opening such laboratory is to perform birth control operations (sterilisation) on stray dogs to control their population. For fulfilling the purpose, JMC had to provide necessary medicines and vaccines to doctors of Veterinary College. But due to reasons unknown the laboratory could not be opened. JMC was criticised severely for its lethargic approach to control the menace. Hence, to counter criticism and protests, it signed a contract with Royal Veterinarian Society of Nagpur to sterilise stray dogs. But, due to hefty expenditure on vaccination and operation, JMC discontinued the contract. Sudden check on the process has increased number of stray dogs. Now, JMC is taking help of an NGO to control stray dog population.

JMC’s Health Officer G S Chandel when contacted informed that the civic body has engaged an NGO, Animal Birth Control (ABC) of Durg to catch and sterilise street dogs. He said the organisation is catching dogs and sterilising them. Chandel said nearly 4000 dogs, both male and female, have been sterilised so far during the current year. He further informed that JMC is paying Rs 658 for sterilisation of female dog and Rs 468 for male dog to the Organisation. He said the process has decreased number of street dogs in the city. But, so far as ground realities are concerned, JMC’s efforts are falling short to limit growing strength of stray canines, as there is boom in the population of stray dogs. One can see dogs wandering in packs at every nook and corner of the city.

They are chasing people and bite them. Mayor Dr Swati Godbole, when contacted, said JMC is making efforts to control population of stray canine. But, she said looking to sudden increase in number of street dogs, the civic body will expedite efforts and give people respite from the menace. Dr Godbole said she will direct Health Department to give needed impetus to ongoing efforts and catch more and more dogs regularly and sterilise them.