Stray dog menace exacerbated by slowing down of ABC programme

The BBMP plans to have an agency, recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India, to undertake a stray dog survey.   | Photo Credit: File Photo by Bhagya Prakash K.

Residents’ associations across the city are alleging that there has been an increase in the number of stray dogs. This comes in the wake of a five-year-old being bitten when she was playing outside her house in Rose Garden, Neelasandra, and a boy being mauled to death on the outskirts of the city, outside Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits, by a pack of dogs.

While the reports of a rise in the stray dog population in the city are anecdotal, civic officials admit that the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme has been slowed down as contracts with agencies ended in December 2018. The BBMP had floated new tenders, one for each of the eight zones. “While we did not receive any response for two zones – South and West — response to three zones has been good. Tenders for three other zones will be floated again as the agencies that applied there are not recognised by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) or only one agency applied,” a senior civic official said.

BBMP Special Commissioner D. Randeep said the financial bids for Rajarajeshwarinagar, Yelahanka and East zones would be opened soon. “As we are in the transition period, there has been an impact on the ABC programme,” he said.

Dumping of garbage

D.S. Rajashekhar, former president of Citizens’ Action Forum, said the dog menace was directly connected to the garbage mess in the city. He alleged that the BBMP’s failure to clear the bills presented by agencies undertaking the ABC programme in a timely manner had made things worse. “This has had an obvious impact on the stray dog population, which is, in turn, posing a direct threat to the public, especially children and senior citizens,” he said.

Parvez Ahmed Piran, former Joint Director (Animal Husbandry), BBMP, agreed and said the civic body had failed to implement the programme scientifically. “Ideally, each of the 198 wards should be covered once every year under the programme. Awareness programmes on preventing dog-bites that were held in government- and BBMP-run schools and colleges have been discontinued,” he said.

Survey on the cards

The BBMP has decided on fixing an agency, recognised by the AWBI, to undertake a stray dog survey. This, said Mr. Randeep, would form a basis to track the ABC and Anti-Rabies Vaccination (ARV) programmes. As per the new tenders, microchips will be inserted into dogs that have undergone ABC and ARV to help officials monitor the programme.

With allegations that black spots were another contributing factor to the increase in the stray dog menace, Mr. Randeep said the civic body has cleared over 400 of the more than 1,900 garbage dumping spots identified across the city. “Once the garbage collection system is set right, we will relaunch the drive against black spots,” he said.

He added that garbage tenders for at least 100 wards may be finalised by mid-July. “We are evaluating financial bids for a few wards. We may have to re-tender for a few wards and go back to the negotiation tables for a few others, as the rates quoted are high. We will, hopefully, be able to issue work orders by mid-July for at least 100 wards.”

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:16:20 PM |

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