Free-roaming dogs to be captured and sterilised

ITANAGAR, 20 May: The state government has decided to control the stray dog population by capturing and sterilising them, and keeping them in confinement.

The decision was taken in view of the reports of increasing number of dog-bite cases in the state capital and some other districts in the recent past.

“While different means were discussed to control the population of free-roaming dogs in the streets of the capital, the proposal for catching and confining the stray dogs by authority or NGOs and sterilising them was accepted as the most standard procedure,” AHV&DD Commissioner Bidol Tayeng, who chaired the meeting, informed in a release.

During the meeting, the participants said that they have observed a sudden increase in the number of dog bite cases in the state capital and in some other districts this year, “which has caused panic among the citizens.”

They said that the increasing number of stray dogs in the streets of the state capital and the district headquarters led to the increase in the number of dog-bite cases.

“Certain photographs and videos of dog bites circulated on social media have caused more panic among the citizens,” the release said.

However, “all the bite cases were not that of rabid dogs” and “most of the bites were pet and domestic dogs,” it said.

Naharlagun-based NGO Arunachal Dog and Cat Rescue, which currently houses about 17 stray dogs, has proposed to increase its dog intake by seeking more space, the release informed.

“DC capital has been working with the said NGO and providing better facilities for keeping the dogs,” it said.

The departments concerned assured the NGO that nets and hand gloves for catching dogs in the capital will be provided to it.

AHV&DD Director Dr D Longri informed that anti-rabies vaccines for dogs are available throughout the state, and that the dog owners can get their pets vaccinated free of cost.

During the meeting, the participants decided that all the stakeholder departments will make concerted efforts to control the stray dogs and dog bites.

“Further, the effort shall be made sustainable till the situation is brought back to normal,” the release said.

The stakeholder departments have been asked to create awareness among the dog owners to keep their pet animals in confinement to avoid contact with rabid dogs.

“Many of the stray dogs have owners but have let them free in the streets. Such dogs should be taken care of by the owners, rather than letting them in the streets, which has led to increase in such dog bite cases,” the release added.

Earlier, officers of the AHV department delivered a presentation on ‘The causes of increasing stray dogs and its consequences in the society’.

The officers from the health & family welfare department delivered a presentation on the number of dog bites and rabies cases in the state, and on the various activities relating to controlling rabies.

The Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) district administration presented details of the efforts being made to control the stray dogs in the state capital.

ICR DC Shweta Nagarkoti Mehta, Papum Pare DC Jiken Bomjen, IMC Commissioner T Aran, and NRCP SNO Dr Lobsang Zampa, among others, attended the meeting.