Pune: While experts have highlighted the need for local government bodies to have efficient sterilisation methods to control canine population, they have also pointed at various external factors leading to the rise in canine population in the city. Veterinary experts pointed out that the city needs good garbage management, as garbage dumps act as a source of food for stray canines.
Veterinary doctor Dr Shankar Shete said that regional monitoring of canine population can be done. “It has been observed that population of stray dogs increases near areas of garbage dumps. But killing dogs certainly is not the solution,” added Shete.
Speaking on the relocation of dogs to manage the canine population, Shete said that dogs are not similar to goats and cows, as they like to live in their own territory. “Dogs are attached to the place where they are born and each pack of dogs are attached to their territory, which is associated with food sources, which in most cases is the garbage dump and so we need to solve the issue of garbage littering,” added Shete.
Another veterinary doctor Anil Deshpande of Animal Husbandry Department said that dogs cannot change their territory, as they are attacked by another pack of dogs when they change their territory. “So relocation is not a solution to control canine population,” added Deshpande.
While the city does not have confirmed dog census to track the canine population, Animal activist Amit Shah said that tracking dogs population is a mammoth task. “Maybe, in future, the local bodies will conduct dog survey so that at least a systematic mechanism will be set to solve the man-canine conflict.
Right now, we are working vaguely in an inefficient way to solve the issue and we need a structured way to solve the issue,” added Shah.
The animal activist said that apart from controlling the canine population, local bodies also need to focus on vaccination programmes of dogs. The city has witnessed four deaths due to rabies this year after dog bites.”People are scared of death due to rabies and so they are attacking dogs. The issue can be solved by vaccination programmes of stray dogs and with the massive population of stray dogs, people will have to come forward to assure that the canine in their area is vaccinated,” added Shah.
Speaking on vaccination, Deshpande said that dogs are associated with various zoonotic diseases. “It is not only rabies, which should bother us but other diseases too and so apart from rabies, we will have to administer other vaccines to dogs,” added Deshpande.