Dog census in city on the anvil

GHMC veterinary wing is taking up a dog census in the city soon, in order to estimate the canine numbers in various localities and their vaccination and birth control status.

The work will be outsourced to an NGO, officials informed, and assured that the census will be taken up as per the standard procedure prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India.

As per the data from previous such exercises, it is estimated that the city has over 7.5 lakh dogs in its various localities.

The corporation is intensifying anti-rabies measures across the city, in view of the oncoming summer season, when dog bite cases are likely to go up.

Officials have informed that the Anti-Rabies Vaccination (ARV) and Animal Birth Control (ABC) programmes are being intensified across the city, with emphasis on vulnerable areas such as slums, and areas where the canine numbers are significantly high.

Providing an insight into why dog bites are more common in summer, GHMC’s Chief Veterinary Officer Abdul Wakeel said deprivation from food and water, besides skin infections make dogs more aggressive. “Street dogs thrive on discarded food items in garbage, and in summer, food becomes dry and inedible within minutes when exposed to Sun. Apart from water scarcity, non-availability of food too makes dogs edgy, increasing the number of bites,” Dr. Wakeel said. Skin infections, rampant among stray dogs, also start to trouble them more during the hot weather. “All dog bites, however, may not lead to rabies,” he said, and added that medicines are well stocked in Fever Hospital and other government clinics for timely treatment.

Confirming that the dog from B.S. Maktha, which went on a biting spree recently was found to be rabies positive, he informed that the corporation has swiftly immunised all the dogs in the vicinity and surrounding areas.

“We administered ARV to 182 dogs from the locality and its surroundings. Teams have been despatched to trace all the victims, and ensure they are administered vaccination and also the Human Rabies Immunoglobulin injections,” he said.

During this year, GHMC has so far performed birth control surgeries on a total of 46,473 dogs, and administered vaccination to 78,822 of them, he said.

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