Kerala

Rise in stray dog menace in Kollam Corporation

Stray dogs at Tangasseri in Kollam.

Stray dogs at Tangasseri in Kollam. | Photo Credit: C. SURESHKUMAR

Despite an alarming rise in dog bite cases and aggressive packs ruling many byroads at night, the Kollam city Corporation has opted to turn a blind eye towards the menace.

While nearly 10 persons were attacked by a rabid dog at Asramam last week, feral strays have become a major concern for two-wheeler riders and pedestrians in many areas.

According to officials, the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme was conducted only for 38 days from February 22 to March 31, the end of the last financial year. “The civic body had appointed a doctor and four handlers and as per records 644 dogs were sterilised. The number is very negligible compared to the total stray population in Kollam Corporation limits that comes around 12,000,” says an official. Reportedly, the Kollam Corporation has repeatedly failed to arrange a space to sterilise the dogs and all locations identified by the civic body were changed at the last minute.

According to Animal Husbandry department officials, the steady increase in stray dog population will change the behaviour of packs, making them more feral and dangerous. “If they are not neutered and numbers are not controlled, they will become more aggressive. They will go berserk biting people and it is an emerging threat,” says an official.

The ABC programme needs to be continued without any break for visible results as even a month’s gap will lead to a considerable surge in population. Last month, a stray dog with a notched ear, indicating sterilisation, had given birth at the Polayathodu market. Later it was found out that the dog was not sterilised, pointing to the flawed implementation of the programme. “The dog had no surgical scar. It was left with a notched ear to meet the target. It also means that the process was not supervised by any doctor,” the Animal Husbandry department official adds.

Panic

The recent rabies deaths in the State have caused panic among the public and the district had reported several dog bite cases in the past couple of months. Victims included children and elderly women while street vendors and MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) workers are worried about non-bite exposure through skin aberrations.

Vaccine shortage

Meanwhile, those who were bitten and mauled by a rabid dog last week had to visit Government Medical College Hospital, Parippally, for vaccination. The Taluk Development Committee had instructed to resolve the shortage of anti-rabies injection as many people are seeking treatment after being bitten by stray dogs. The committee had instructed to ensure the availability of vaccine in district and taluk hospitals while the Corporation was asked to restart the ABC programme.


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Printable version | Sep 9, 2022 4:52:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rise-in-stray-dog-menace-in-kollam-corporation/article65753854.ece