Medical officer favours sterilisation of canines once in a year

Migration has always been a perennial problem for the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC). Now, it's not human migration, but stray dog migration from rural areas has become a big challenge to it.

The VMC “successfully conducted” ovario-hysterectomy on every bitch and surgical castration on every dog in the city. It claims that all the 7,000 stray dogs underwent these surgeries. In phase-I, 3,000 canines were sterilised and remaining were covered in phase-II. The corporation spent more than Rs.31 lakhs in this regard last year.

Each such operation costs Rs. 800, out of which the corporation bore Rs. 445. And the remaining was borne by other stakeholders like animal welfare organisations. Hyderabad-based Kesava Memorial Foundation conducted surgeries on dogs in the city last year. The list, however, excluded pregnant animals and puppies, taking the problem back to square one. Upping the ante, the dogs are migrating to urban areas along with villagers or in search of food.

Chief Medical Officer of Health M. Satyanarayana Raju opines that the drive would have to be taken up once in a year to ensure that the dogs that were not covered due to these reasons would also be sterilised and vaccinated.

Survival of the stray dogs is on food waste lavishly thrown by the citizens in the open or in dustbins, which attracts stray animals, including dogs. If hypothetically dogs are eliminated from one area, the phenomenon of migration will work and dogs from other area will fill the vacuum till sufficient food waste is available to them.

Hence, the best way to curb the population of stray dogs is to avoid throwing food waste onto roads, he explains.

Legislations and court decrees have halted the earlier practice of killing stray dogs to get rid of the problem once and for all.

As an alternative, the VMC sterilised the stray dogs.

More In: Vijayawada