Under pressure from civil society and shaken by increasing number of dog bites in Kashmir, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation has decided to castrate male dogs and perform ovario-hysterectomy operation on female dogs.
"The animal birth control (ABC) programme for management of stray dog population will be started in the first fortnight of April. Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) will be part of it," said Srinagar municipality commissioner Ghulam Nabi Qasba.
While the male dogs will be subjected to castration operation and anti-rabies immunization with post-operative period for 2-3 days, female dogs will be subjected to ovario-hysterectomy operation and anti-rabies immunization with minimum post-operative period of 3 days, said Qasba.
The municipality's urgency has come in the backdrop of Kashmir dog menace hitting global headlines as the population touches 10 lakh in the valley. According to the latest government figures, there are more than 50,000 dogs in Srinagar with population of 14 lakh. The valley has reported more than 25,000 bites in the last year. A boy died in Srinagar earlier this year when dogs bit him over 100 times.
Facing threats from civil society take law into their hand, the municipality is fast working on an operational operation theatre at Shuhama's Teaching Veterinary Clinical Services Complex in Srinagar."It will be utilized for conduct of surgery on stray dogs in the first instance. By mid of June all the surgeries will be conducted in this facility," said Qasba.
An amount of Rs 5.25 lakh has been earmarked for the project. A dog catching vehicle is also being made available to start catching stray dogs in two zones with priority to the 'Red Areas', where dog bite cases have been reported in the past. "The catching of the stray dogs will be done in the wee hours of the morning and late evening in order to avoid public interference," said Qasba.
The authorities plan to put up male and female dogs in kennels for medical examination. "Those fit for undergoing surgery will be kept off-fed for 12 – 24 hours. Those suffering from illness, injuries, mange etc. will be treated prior to their sterilisation," said Qasba.
The authorities will put V-shaped ear notching to identify the sterilized dogs. "These dogs will be released in the same areas after the completion of post-operative period and ensuring proper healing," said Qasba.
1800 pounds with a capacity of 50 canines in each pound
2,500 kanals required with expenditure of Rs 98 cr per year on dog caretaking
Pounds will be equipped with separate kennels for males and females species
Impounded dogs will be looked by specialized people called ‘Dog Caretakers’, who will take care of 25 dogs
Past exercises to combat dog menace:
The SMC arranged to train their staff in the art of catching stray dogs from a US team in Feb this year
Khursheed Ahmad Mir (54), an agriculture graduate with an MBA degree, who claimed to be a pied piper with scientific technology was rope in March, 2011 but charged Rs 20 crore. The experiment was shelved.
In a separate initiative, planned to sterilize male ones and marking them with studs to avoid confusion. The SMC then submitted a Rs 4.5-crore project before the Animal Welfare Board, Government of India, for expert advice and funds for scientific sterilization of dogs.