Andhra Pradesh

Stray dog menace haunts civic bodies

The number of dog-bite cases received at the GGH stands at 1,714 in April; 1,335 in March; 1,454 in February; and 1,576 in January. File photo: T. Vijaya Kumar  

: Stray dog menace has assumed serious proportions in Guntur district if the upswing in the number of attacks by rabid canines in Guntur and surrounding municipalities is any indication.

On Monday, several children aged between 12-15 years were bitten by a rabid dog at Chilakaluripet.

The children were administered anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) at the Government General Hospital (GGH) here after it was found that the local area hospital did not have sufficient stocks.

In a tragic incident in April 2015, a six-year-old girl was killed by a rabid dog at Kakumanu village in Prathipadu mandal.

An investigation by the Department of Medical and Health has revealed that dogs are drawn by leftover foods and usually choose children as their prey.

Even after a year, lessons have not been learnt as the incident at Chilakaluripet shows.

Chilling statistics

A look at the data available with the Health Department reveals that the number of dog-bite cases received at the GGH stands at 1,714 in April, 1,335 in March, 1,454 in February, and 1,576 in January. Senior veterinary surgeons say that tackling such a serious issue needs a multi-pronged approach. The most effective is is to opt for Animal Birth Control (ABC) measures, which would effectively reduce the ferocious nature of dogs, but even this requires a lot of coordination between municipalities and the Animal Husbandry Department.

The Animal Husbandry Department said it had conducted 1,850 ABC procedures till date this year and administered 12,000 ARVs. But the department admits it still needs 35,000 ARVs.

While the issue of handling the stray dogs has been the main task of municipalities, the Department of Animal Husbandry has an important role in developing the vaccine, administering it to dogs in sterile conditions.

“The most effective method is to administer ARV to dogs. While people who own the dogs take care to administer ARV, it is not easy to administer the same to stray dogs as their handling should be done by the municipalities concerned,’’ says Joint Director, Animal Husbandry, Venkata Ramana.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 9:28:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/Stray-dog-menace-haunts-civic-bodies/article14378193.ece

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