Sterilisation, vaccination key to curb dog menace in Kashmir: DAK

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Srinagar, May 06: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said sterilisation and anti-rabies vaccination holds the key to curb the menace of stray dogs in the valley.

“Sterilising and vaccinating the dogs would effectively control their population, prevent rabies and reduce canine attacks,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

Dr Hassan said sterilisation is the only scientific birth control measure for bringing the stray dog population under control.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested that the dog sterilisation programme would be successful only when carried out on fast track mode,” he said adding “the WHO standards recommend that around 70 per cent of dogs should be sterilised within three months of start of the process.

The DAK President said mass vaccination of stray dogs would reduce the risk of human rabies. “In order to prevent rabies transmission, 70 percent dog population need to be vaccinated,” he said, adding that “prevention of the transmission of rabies at its source through dog vaccination is the most cost-effective strategy to save lives.”

“Sterilised and vaccinated dogs are non-aggressive and rabies free,” said Dr Nisar. “They are infertile and their population gradually decreases in size over time,” he said.

General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said in absence of a major sterilisation programme and vaccination, the menace of stray dogs is growing in the valley and is taking a heavy toll on the people.

“Every day a large number of people are falling prey to dog bites. The canines are storming streets, chasing cars, pulling down bicycle riders and often attacking pedestrians and school children,” he said.

Spokesperson DAK Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of dog bite cases over the years.

“In last 10 years, 58,000 people have been bitten by stray dogs in the valley. Every year 4 to 5 thousand dog bite cases are being reported in GMC Srinagar,” he said.

“Some of the victims have died of rabies as unvaccinated stray dogs are potential source for the fatal disease,” he added—(KNO)