Srinagar: The valley witnessed a sharp decline in dog bite cases last year compared to the number of such cases in 2013, while the dog population has nearly halved in the past three years. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) claims that several measures taken by it have made this possible.
Last year, the Anti-Rabies Clinic (ARC) at the SMHS Hospital treated 3,701 dog bite cases from across the valley. In 2013, a total of 5704 people bitten by dogs had been treated at the ARC.
The highest number of dog bite cases came from Srinagar, which has been ranked by a news magazine as one of the 10 cleanest cities in India. With only 41 dog bite cases, Kulgam district was the least affected.
Most of these cases fall in two categories: Class II (patient given anti-rabies vaccine if the bite has caused a visible wound) and Class III (patient given immunoglobulins for serious injuries). In Class I category, a person is administered first aid after ensuring there are no deep wounds.
In 2012, the State Human Rights Commission termed dog menace as a human rights violation and shot a show cause notice to the City’s civic body.
The SMC has heaved a sigh of relief over the decline in the number of dog bites, as it had been criticized sharply for not doing enough to control the dog menace.
Municipal veterinary officer Javed Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that a slew of measures have reduced the dog population of the city and significantly cut the number of dog attacks. The most effective among these was to deprive the dogs of feeding grounds.
“About 200 open garbage sheds that were always teeming with dogs were closed. Effective disposal of more than 40,000 kg a day of waste produced by over 2000 poultry outlets also helped,” Javed said.
“These measures have certainly helped us to bring the number of dogs from 90,000 in 2011 to 48,000 in 2014,” he added.