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Mumbai model likely for city dog census

Staff Reporter
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Enumeration soonData on dogs will help the Chennai Corporation deal with a number of issues, including those of stray dogs biting pedestrians —Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
Enumeration soonData on dogs will help the Chennai Corporation deal with a number of issues, including those of stray dogs biting pedestrians —Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

This year, the Chennai Corporation will take a leaf out of Mumbai’s book while conducting its annual dog census.

Officials of the civic body are already in talks with their counterparts in Mumbai to chalk out a plan for a complete enumeration of all canines across the city’s 426 sq. km.

After studying the model adopted by Mumbai, the Corporation will develop its own model, suitable for Chennai’s conditions, an official said.

Under this new model, the census will be completed in a day. Earlier this year, the Corporation had planned to use the services of malaria workers and sanitary inspectors to collect data on dogs in the city over a certain period.

Officials had also planned to offer incentives to those employees who took part in the census. However, this plan has now been shelved.

“We have planned to finish the census in a day. A six-month schedule for immunisation of all dogs will follow,” said a Corporation official. A final decision on the new model is likely to be taken in about two weeks, he added.

Data on the dogs will help the civic body deal with a number of issues, including those of stray dogs biting pedestrians.

One major problem, officials said, was that the city, which had no cases of rabies in 2009, had begun seeing several in the last couple of years. In 2010 there was one death; in 2011 there were five; the figure rose to 11 in 2012 and so far this year, two persons have died of rabies.

There are an estimated 1.85 lakh stray dogs and 3,000 licensed pet dogs in the city. At present, around 20,000 dogs are sterilised every year, but the Corporation has now set its annual sterilisation target at 60,000.

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