Dogs are sometimes nicknamed as ‘man’s best friend’. But the increasing incidents of stray dog menace do not go well with what transpires in Kashmir Valley. The canines have been storming streets, chasing cars, pulling down bicycle riders and often attacking pedestrians and children in the Valley. The dogs even claim lives and the horrific incidents continue to be repeated. Not long ago, a young lawyer from North Kashmir lost his battle for life in a hospital after having been mauled by the stray dogs. It’s perhaps a chilling reminder of the danger that always lurks around people of all ages.
Despite lockdown amid covid-19 and even tougher clampdown post abrogation of special status last year leading to the reduction of availability of energy rich food, the number of the canines seems to be only growing. It rather debunks calls by some experts who voiced concern against culling and called for reducing availability of the energy rich food to reduce the numbers.
Someone in the administration should be taken to task for endangering the lives of the people if the theory still holds good as heaps of rubbish, and waste on streets are available.
Every year, hundreds of people are bitten by dogs. Around 98% of rabies cases are due to dog bites globally, about 40 percent of the victims being children, according to the World Health Organization, which has announced a campaign to reduce human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies across the globe to zero by 2030.
For rabies, the link is direct. Wherever there are people, there are dogs. If dogs are suffering and dying from rabies, humans will also suffer and die. Dogs also contribute to deaths involving road accidents besides direct attacks.
The dog population has grown rather than reduced in the Kashmir in recent past, notwithstanding some surveys which restricted their domain to a few areas of Srinagar.
Sterilization has also proved ineffective. Based on the estimation of 300 working days, approximately 27000 sterilization were to be carried out in a year. However, the results never turned out to be at par with the desired objective. In contrast, stray dogs have only grown in number. There is no word about it recently and in all probability it seems the process has been halted. There is a need to get serious on the issue. While animal birth control measures have proven ineffective, there is a need to look for aletrnatives.