Stray dog menace: Why sterilization of street dogs is not a solution…
What a day to celebrate….. If one goes to any of the government hospitals in Delhi and witnesses the long queue outside the dog bite injection room, one will be able to comprehend the irony of so called DOG DAY that we celebrate on 26th August.
According to various reports, more than 64,000 stray dog bite cases were reported last year in Delhi. Similarly 46000 dog bites cases were reported in Mumbai last year, out of which 5 lost their lives. Still around 3000 thousand fresh dog bite cases are coming to almost all the government hospitals in Delhi. Almost all the patient are from the lower income group who struggle hard for a living and don’t even have a shelter to live in.
The pathetic situation that we see here is that these stray dogs are been fed by the upper middle class people of the society who are never bitten by them. They just come and give food and go away in their vehicles. But at the same time when a passerby who does not own a vehicle just walks through the same path, these dogs attack them, some resulting in grevious injuries.
The recent incident of a women in Kerala being bit by a stray dog had turned a big controversy when Maneka Gandhi, Union minister of Child development had asked the state: “What has Kerala achieved by killing stray dogs?” The 65 year old victim succumbed to the injuries while on her way to the hospital. The precaution that Maneka gandhi proposed was to sterilise the stray dogs.
Is sterilisation as well as building dog homes an actual remedy for this??? If so why has the target not been achieved yet? Why do more and more people become victims of stay dog attacks ?
The answer is simple… Sterilising around 2-3 lakh dogs is not an easy thing. The gestation period of a dog is just 2 months and in one delivery on an average around 8-10 puppies are born. If in a month around 700 dogs a sterilised, that means around 30 dogs may be sterilised one day. But on the same day how many puppies are born?? How can the honourable minister ever think of such a remedy? Or is that she forgot that dogs breed fast or that their gestation period is just 2 months.. How will around 3 lakh stray dogs be accommodated in the few shelter homes that we have, compared to their numbers??
There is a need to take a leaf from the recent incident at the Cincinnati zoo in which a gorilla was killed to save child who slipped into enclosure. When the question is of survival, a human life is more precious than an animal life. For instance, earlier this year, stray dogs attacked and killed an infant in Amritsar. A similar incident was reported from Andhra Pradesh around the same time. Last year, five stray dogs killed a seven-year-old boy in southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. Would you risk your child’s life to protect stray dogs?
It’s high time that the so called “dog lovers” and the animal welfare board as well as the NGOs realise the naked truth that a human life is more valuable than animal when the animal is causing harm to poor people and try to implement some realistic ideas to save people from dog bites rather than beating round the bush.