SMC using multipronged strategy to cut dog populace: Asiea Naqash

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JAMMU: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has been working on multiple strategies as per the guidelines issued by Animal Welfare Board of India to reduce the stray dog populace, Minister of State for Health and Medical Education, Asiea Naqash said Monday.
Replying to a call attention notice tabled by MLC, Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Naqash said, “From time to time SMC has been tactically working for population management of stray dogs, rabies eradication and reducing man-dog conflict, with encouraging results,” she said.
The minister informed that the guidelines put forth by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) for dog population management, focuses on two strategies; one minimizing the availability of energy rich exposed garbage which provides an abundant source of food to the stray dogs resulting in the increase in proliferation rate and life span of stray dogs and second the Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies Program.
She said the SMC has been working on the implementation of such strategies and as such the stray dog bite cases as per the reports available at anti rabies centre SMHS Hospital over the last few years reveal that there has been around 30 per cent decline in the number of dog bite cases from 7,000 recorded during the year 2012-13 to 5120 during the year 2016-17.
She said that energy rich exclusive non vegetarian waste around comprised of around 100 metric tons generated daily from the city of a total production of around 450 metric tons of waste.
She informed that if this energy rich nutritious waste remains available in abundance each female dog (bitch) can add 10-15 pups to the existing dog population every year. “SMC has been constantly on war footing to reduce this availability of energy rich exclusive non vegetarian garbage to reduce the proliferation and survival rate of stray dogs,” she added. In this regard several effective and vital initiatives have been taken by the SMC to reduce waste edible food including door to door collection of garbage from households, hotels and restaurants and all open garbage sheds have been closed across city.
“Also, about 350 closed lid garbage bins procured from JK ERA have been put in place across the city,” she added.
The Minister further informed that the deployment of additional fleet by SMC comprising of special garbage collection of light vehicles, and other machinery has resulted in reducing the availability of highly nutritious garbage waste to a great limit. Besides, SMC is constantly trying to upgrade the systems to increase the efficiency of this program, she added.
Similarly, “SMC has been working on Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies Program (ABC-AR Program) after its implementation by AWBI in 2010 to end the presence of stray dogs on roads and public places and to free India from the incidences of rabies by 2020.” She informed.
She also informed that SMC is implementing fast track sterilization of stray dogs along with effective garbage management as viable and effective tool to reduce the stray dog population.
“Keeping in view the larger volume of sterilization of stray dogs SMC has initiated the process of establishing one more ABC-AR Program at the available site at Tengpora at an estimated cost of Rs 1.4 crore and work will start soon on the project,” she said. Regarding the dumping of garbage near Rawalpora Higher Secondary School, the Minister informed that open garbage shed has been replaced with covered with dumper bin and clear cut instructions have been placed to avoid the presence of garbage on the roads to avoid dogs gathering.