‘People’s participation needed to keep watch on canine population’

Sunil Pradhan
Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Man-Canine Conflict: Part 1
The city is witnessing unusual incidents of dogs dying due to poisoning in different parts of the city which reflects the ongoing man-canine conflict. While killing dogs is certainly not the solution to solve the conflict, Sakal Times in a three-part series reflects the changes required to improve the situation.

Pune: With the recent rise in canine poisoning cases in the city reflecting the hostile nature of citizens towards man’s best friend, experts have pointed the need to control canine population which can help in reducing the man-canine conflict. Experts have also warned of damaging consequences if the situation is not addressed on time.

The city has witnessed more than 4,500 dog-bite cases and four rabies death in the current year. The situation was no different last year when 9,387 cases of dog-bite were registered with 10 cases of rabies death. 

Speaking on the issue, Dr Anil Deshpande, Assistant Commissioner of Animal Husbandry Department, said that while there are several measures to reduce the man-canine conflict, controlling the canine population in the city will help to reduce the conflict and can stop culling of dogs. “While government bodies have their own challenges citizens can play an active role in controlling the canine population. They can voluntarily inform local civic body about the rise in canine population in their area so that civic authority can undertake sterilisation of dogs,” added Deshpande.

The veterinary doctor said that humans get scared when dogs attack them or chase them. “However chasing a moving object and trying to save itself is a natural tendency of a dog. The problem arises when there are too many dogs in one particular area and so people should keep a watch on the population of dogs in their area,” added Deshpande.

Another city-based veterinary doctor Amit Apte, who has over two decades of experience of operating on dogs, said that while NGOs and the government bodies are working to reduce the conflict, people can take lead and train dogs to reduce cases of dog-bites. “Public education programmes focused on dog behaviour will help in reducing dog-bite incidents. Similarly, dogs can also be trained to make it familiar with human behaviour. In Deccan Gymkhana area people are alert and inform authorities for dog vaccination and sterilisation which is a good move,” added Apte. Experts also pointed out that authorities should seek advice from ‘dog behaviour’ experts in developing dog safety education programmes.

Speaking on the issue Amit Shah, an animal lover, said that the civic body has failed to control canine population which is leading to culling incidents of stray dogs. “We are degrading ourselves by killing animals in such a fashion. Such incidents will put the city and civic administration in a bad light,” added Shah.

Speaking about rabid dogs, Shah said that incidents of rabies dogs are very less and people should not think that all dogs are rabid.

What the Constitution says
 As per article 51A, the Constitution places a duty on every citizen to ‘protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.”
Past incidents of 
man-canine conflict
 About 20 stray dogs died due to poisoning in Hadapsar on June 15, 2018.
 A six-year-old boy was mauled to death by stray dogs in Maan village near Hinjawadi on March 25, 2018.
 Four stray dogs were burnt and 16 were poisoned in Baner on October 4, 2017.
 Eight stray dogs died due to poisoning in Kumbre Park area of Kothrud on May 4, 2017.

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