Majid Kapra

Dog bite cases on rise in Srinagar and elsewhere

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Authorities maintain they’re expediting sterilization process

Srinagar: As the number of dog bite cases are on the rise in Srinagar with dozens of such cases reported to the Anti Rabies Clinic at SMHS Hospital here on a daily basis, authorities have miserably failed to curb the dog menace in the capital city.

Elsewhere in the Valley also the situation is no different. In the rural areas as well, vulnerable populations including the elderly and young children continue to fall prey to stray packs on a daily basis.

An elderly woman lost her life while seven others were injured after stray dogs attacked them in Munawarabad locality in Srinagar on April 27.

Seven persons including two children were injured after stray dogs attacked them in Manzgam Boniyar area of Baramulla district in north Kashmir on Wednesday, witnesses told ‘Kashmir Images’.

The injured persons, witnesses said, were taken to Government Medical College (GMC) Baramulla for treatment.

A seven years old girl from Mitragam, Kulgam in south Kashmir is battling for life at Children’s Hospital Bemina here. Surat Jan, daughter of Mohammad Ashraf, was grievously injured by street dogs outside her makeshift home on Sunday.

Doctors treating the injured girl at Children’s Hospital Bemina told ‘Kashmir Images’ that she has suffered multiple dog bite injuries and has been put on a ventilator.

Mohammad Ashraf, father of the injured girl, said that dog attack cases have increased in their village and that the authorities do nothing to protect people from the canines.

“I live in a makeshift tent in Kulgam; I am a labourer and need prayers and if possible some financial help from people. My daughter was attacked by dogs outside my home in Mitragam Kulgam on Sunday. She is yet to regain consciousness,” Ashraf said, adding she has suffered injuries in the head, neck, legs and thighs and is very critical.

According to the data, nearly 5000 dog bite cases have been reported to Anti Rabies Clinic in Kashmir, with nearly 4,000 such cases reported from Srinagar city alone.

Despite repeated attempts, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Athar Amir Khan could not be contacted for an official version.

However, when contacted, SMC’s Health Officer, Dr Tawheed told ‘Kashmir Images’ that the civic body has taken a slew of measures to curb the dog menace in the city, including expediting work on the Anti Birth Control (ABC) and Sterilization programme.

He said killing dogs is prohibited under the Animal Rights Protection Act. The civic body, he said, has been actively working to decrease the dog population in the city with the ABC programme.

“We have established a sophisticated dog sterilization center at Tengpora Bypass and Chatterhama areas of Srinagar.  210 dogs can be sterilized at a time at these centers. Besides we have established a toll-free helpline number; people can contact us regarding rabid dog attacks in their areas,” Dr Tawheed said.

He said the dogs show behavioral changes and become much aggressive if relocated to other places. So the easy way, he said, to curb the nuisance is to sterilize them.

He appealed to the people to cooperate with the authorities and report canine attacks in their areas for immediate action.

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