Dog-bite cases on the rise; BBMP says it is helpless

As per the BBMP’s records from 2012, of the 3.27 lakh dogs in Bengaluru, 1.85 lakh are strays.  

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), on Saturday, expressed its inability to prevent dog-bites in the city, and informed the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) that its ‘hands are tied’.

The child rights commission had taken suo motu cognisance when an 11-year-old boy Praveen died early this month after he was attacked by a pack of stray dogs. Since then, other cases of dogs attacking children were reported highlighting the failure of the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme.

As per the BBMP’s records from 2012, of the 3.27 lakh dogs in the city, 1.85 lakh are strays. When asked why the dogs were biting children, officials from the BBMP Animal Husbandry Department said, “It depends on many things like the aggressive nature of the dog, health, food, etc.”

Almost doubled

According to the BBMP, the number of dog-bite cases nearly doubled from 17,783 in 2016 to 32,883 in 2017. In 2018, as many as 27,464 dog-bite cases were reported until September 20. Earlier in the hearing, civic officials stated that there were following rules and precautions such as neutering strays to control their population at a cost of ₹850 to ₹1,000 per canine. However, animal activists, who were present at the hearing alleged that tenders for the ABC programme were given to people who had no experience in handling stray dogs. They raised discrepancies and violations in some of the centres such as lack of log books to record, cruelty meted out to the animals, unhygienic kennels and inadequate food.

“Animal rights activists pointed out that the dogs were not picked up and dropped in the same area,” said Y. Mariswamy, in-charge chairperson of the KSCPCR. Dogs are territorial and a neighbourhood pack will pick a fight with the new lot of dogs released in a strange area. At the hearing, activists raised concerns over the efficacy of the ABC programme and pointed out that the number of surgeries have reduced. Mr. Mariswamy said that the commission also found that an ineffective garbage and waste disposal system was linked to increase in dog-bite cases. “Packs of dogs are found in areas where waste disposal is not effective and around meat shops where meat is thrown. These dogs attack children as they are vulnerable targets,” he said.

Mayor R. Sampath Raj said that civic body was working on several measures to prevent dog-bite cases. “It is not unacceptable for officials to say that they cannot do much to prevent dog-bites,” he said, and added that he would take the officials to task.

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 12:58:19 AM |

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