Kerala

No let-up in dog-bite cases in Kannur

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Despite the panchayat allocating funds for sterilisation of street dogs under the Animal Birth Control programme (ABC) ), there is no let-up in dog-bite cases in the district. There was a rise in the cases last year, which is the highest in the last five years.

Seven-year-old Niranjan, who was playing in the courtyard of his house in Azhikode, is the recent victim. On Thursday evening, a street dog attacked him biting his nose and lips. The people who came to his rescue on hearing his cry took him to the District Hospital. Since the injuries were serious, he was later shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital.

Last year, there were 5,794 dog-bite cases, which is an increase of 30% compared to that of 2018. One person died of rabies in December last year.

Data with the Animal Husbandry Department reveal that only 1,339 dogs were sterilised last year. According to Gireesh Babu, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department, there were 47,000 street dogs in the district in 2012 itself. However, under the ABC programme, which started in 2017, just over 5,900 dogs were sterilised. This was because there was only one ABC centre at Pappinesseri, which could manage 200 dogs a year, he said.

Each local panchayat had contributed ₹1lakh to the district panchayat to implement the ABC programme in 2016-17. Though over ₹1crore was collected for the programme, it did not bring about any major change.

Mr. Babu added that easy availability of food refuse such as chicken waste and people leaving dogs on the street after breeding were the two main reasons behind the growing population of stray dogs in the district. “Even though the ABC programme has been implemented, it will take another six to ten years to see a drastic reduction in the number of street dogs,” he said.

He said three ABC centres would be set up at Padiyur panchayat at a cost of ₹63 lakh. Though one centre had been opened at Kodiyeri, it was not functioning now, he said.

He added that this year the district panchayat had allocated ₹82 lakh for the sterilisation programme.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 7:00:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/no-let-up-in-dog-bite-cases-in-kannur/article30526855.ece

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