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Stray dogs are Kashmir's latest threat


HAROON RESHI | Srinagar, March 22, 2012 13:10
Tags : stray dogs in kashmir | rabies | dog population in kashmir | killing of dogs | dog attack |

Stray dogs in kashmir Deeply traumatized and wounded from head-to-toe, the 10-year-old Mudasir Wangnoo is lying on bed at his home in Lal Bazar area of Srinagar city. The ill-fated boy does not allow her mother, Sabra Jan to leave him alone in the room.

Mudasir fall prey to the stray dogs near his house when he was returning from a tuition centre in a nearby locality on a chilly winter evening, on January 20.

According to the eye witnesses, more than two dozen dogs attacked the boy. Some of the animals snatched his jacket away and others tried to snatch the flesh of his body.

He was rescued by some passersby and local residents who heard the boy horrifically crying. He was rushed to the Sher-e-Kashmir Medical institute of Srinagar, where the doctors counted more than hundred dog-bites ––including some deep injuries in his head and limbs–– on his body.

Mudasir was in coma for three constant days and he remained in the hospital’s intensive care ward for more than three weeks.

The unlucky boy is now at his home trying to recover his body wounds and physiological jolts. But the doctors say that they can’t declare the boy “out of danger” before he survives for at least six months. He is taking the high dose of anti-rabies vaccine and the medicine for his depression these days.

“The tragedy has deeply hurt him physically as well as mentally. He cries during the night sleep after having nightmares related the unfortunate incident. He even does not dare to stay alone in the room.” Sabra Jan, the mother of the victim told TSI.

Mudasir is not the only person who became the casualty of the dog menace in the Valley. There are thousands others who have fallen prey to the stray dogs during past few years.

On March 14, 2011 a 9-year old boy, Omar Farooq lost his life after he jumped into the River Jhelum trying to save himself from the dogs. Omar along with his other friends was playing at the banks of the river in a downtown area of the city, when a group of dogs chased him.

The stray dog population is enormously growing in the Srinagar city and the other towns of the Valley, since the Animal rights organisations forced the authorities to stop the poisoning process to kill the dogs in 2008. Since then the dog population is growing endlessly.

After the recent census by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), it was found that there are 91,000 stray dogs roaming free on Srinagar streets and in the residential areas.

Stray dogs

The trouble to the humans by the stray dogs can by gauged by the survey report of 2011 by the State Health Department which say that 53,925 people were bitten by the stray dogs in the Valley from January 2008 to August 2011. According to the survey report during this more than three and a half years 15 people died after having dog bites.

The experts believe the dog population, if not controlled, will reach to the two million by the 2015 (alone in Srinagar), outnumbering the human population in the city which is 1.4 million now.

Last year, a PIL was admitted before the J&K high court seeking the directions to the civil authorities to liberate the humans from the threat of stray dogs.

On the petition, the Chief Justice F. M. Ibrahim Kalifulla ordered the government to build dog-pounds in the outskirts of the city to shift the stray dogs there. But the government failed to build the pound because wherever the authorities identified the place for the pounds, the local residents resisted and came on streets to protest.

“We don’t say that the dogs should be killed but there is need to find some way out to save the citizens. How can government stay inactive on this serious issue? If eliminating the dogs is not a proper way then there must be some other way out to the problem. Then they should start Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme to stop the growing population of the dogs,” Advocate A. R. Hanjoora, the petitioner who is also a trustee of Viva Kashmir an amalgam of the more than a dozen civil society groups, told TSI.

On February 23, 2012 the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) took the cognizance of the issue of dog menace after some people belonging to the civil society groups came on streets to protest against the dog menace. The SHRC while terming the dog threat as human rights violation has asked the SMC to submit a detailed report.

Undoubtedly, the hysterical population of stray dogs has become a big threat to the people of the Valley. The animal rights organisations say that the killing of the dogs is illegal but the question is that should human rights violation be allowed to protect the animal rights?

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Posted By: Lisa Warden | Asia | March 23rd 2012 | 10:03
This article is replete with inaccuracies. First, dogs will never outnumber humans in Srinagar. Their population is relative to and dependent upon the human population, and will always be in keeping with the dog to human ratio found in the rest of India – between one and five dogs to every 100 people. Secondly, Indian dogs only produce one litter per year, not two. Third, the average life expectancy of street dogs in urban India, of dogs who survive to the age of one year, is 3.4 years (not 14-16 years as cited in the article). Only one or two puppies per litter actually survive in places where the habitat is at full carrying capacity. Each habitat has a maximum number of dogs it can support – which brings us to the question: why are there so many dogs in Srinagar? The answer is edible waste, and failure to implement WHO/AWBI-sanctioned methods for dog population and rabies control. Killing dogs does not work to control the dog population, as has been demonstrated over & over again in various places throughout the world. The reason the "dog menace" is out of hand in Kashmir is due to one thing: municipal negligence.
Posted By: Jane Malkinson | Devon England | March 23rd 2012 | 00:03
A tragic story. The only sensible long-term answer to the problem is to have a mass sterilisation programme!

Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017