Srinagar, June 02: Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has constituted an Animal Birth Control (ABC) Monitoring Committee to effectively address the issue of stray dog overpopulation and ensure the well-being of the residents.
The committee, mandated under the Animal Birth Control (dogs) Rules 2001, will oversee the implementation of various activities related to the sterilisation of stray animals within the jurisdiction of the SMC.
Headed by SMC Commissioner Athar Amir Khan, the committee comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds to ensure a comprehensive approach. Dr SM Salim Khan, the Head of the Department of Community Medicine, will represent the Public Health Department. Dr Syed Mohammad Abbas, Chief of the Animal Husbandry Department, will act as a representative for both his department and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Dr Tawheed Ahmed Najar, the Municipality Veterinary Officer, has been appointed as the jurisdictional veterinarian doctor.
The formation of this committee aims to address the growing concerns over the rising number of stray dogs in the city. Additionally, the committee will commission a census to accurately determine the dog population within the SMC's limits. This data will serve as a crucial foundation for future initiatives aimed at controlling the population and ensuring the safety of residents.
Talking to Rising Kashmir, SMC Commissioner Athar Amir Khan emphasised the importance of conducting a scientific dog census. He said the agency entrusted with the sterilisation campaign would carry out the census in a well-coordinated and expedited manner. He also highlighted the readiness of the sterilization facility at Tengpora, indicating significant progress in implementing the campaign.
The primary responsibilities of the monitoring committee include overseeing sterilisation activities and ensuring cruelty-free practices throughout the process, including catching, transport, sheltering, sterilisation, and vaccination of dogs, he said, adding that the committee will also investigate dog-bite cases to determine whether the source of the bite was a pet or a stray. Moreover, to achieve effective control over the stray dog population, the committee plans to prioritise area-wise sterilization, aiming to cover at least 70 percent of the dog population in a given area before expanding its efforts to new territories, the SMC Commissioner said.
The urgency of this initiative is highlighted by the alarming number of dog bite cases reported in the region. With approximately 6,875 bite victims, mostly due to dog bites, seeking treatment at Srinagar's Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital's Anti-Rabies Clinic between April 2022 and March 2023, it is evident that immediate action is required.