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Updated: June 12, 2013 02:13 IST

Dog sterilisation comes a cropper in Hyderabad

Swathi V.
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A total of 170 cases of dog bites were attended to at Saroornagar PHC in May, while the figure from Uppal was 102

HYDERABAD: Monday’s instance of an infant being mauled by stray dogs at Keesara’s Hanuman Nagar has left people fuming. Interestingly, the Keesara Primary Health Centre (PHC) had received 22 cases of dog bite in May.

A total of 170 cases of dog bites were attended to at Saroornagar Primary Health Centre (PHC) in May, while the figure from Uppal was 102. Qutbullahpur followed with 48 canine attacks in its two PHCs, and Malkajgiri reported 26.

While these figures are of those who approached government PHCs, details of victims who went to private hospitals were unavailable. Victims are also sent away from PHCs if the anti-rabies vaccine is not available.

There are no specific measures being taken to address the dog menace in the urbanised panchayats of Ranga Reddy district, especially those that now lie under GHMC jurisdiction. The situation is menacing even in circles where the Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies Vaccination (ABC/AR) programme is on. However, GHMC Chief Veterinary Officer Venkateshwar Reddy vouches for the efficacy of the ABC/AR programme, and says it is only a matter of time before the city is free of canine attacks.

“It was only in 2009 that we began this programme. It will need time to succeed. On an average, our veterinarians are conducting 50 to 60 surgeries per day,” he affirms. Dogs that have undergone surgery have their reproductive organs removed leaving them docile and less likely to attack residents.

However, doubts remain on the claims of surgeries in circles where attacks are high.

“Officials usually only react to complaints. They do not carry out regular rounds of wards,” a GHMC staffer says. There are also allegations of fudged figures of sterilisation.

While preservation of organs as proof of sterilisations is an effective way of control, it is not followed anywhere. Veterinarians are employed on contract basis at most dog pounds, and paid per surgery, leaving scope for manipulation of figures.

In quite a few cases, dogs are picked up from wherever there is a complaint, and released in another area. Their motive is to save diesel on two trips, as separate trips are to be made to release male and female dogs. Pressure from vocal corporators also forces GHMC staff to pick up the dogs from their divisions, and leave them where corporators are nonchalant, sources say.

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