KMC to extend dog mgmt drive in Kathmandu

- GAURAV THAPA, Kathmandu

May 8, 2016-

Having sterilised most of the stray canines inside Singha Durbar, city authority now plans to go dog catching in Kathmandu’s neighbourhoods.

The Kathmandu Metropo-litan City said that it had sterilised 92 percent of dogs roaming around the country’s main administrative hub Singha Durbar to rid the metropolis of stray dogs under the campaign that was launched in early March. There were 80 such dogs there. KMC has now divided Kathmandu into eight regions to carry on its dog management programme titled Manumitra.

Chief and Executive Officer of KMC Rudra Singh Tamang said that the campaign is linked to public health. “Management of street dogs is not easy as we cannot simply opt for euthanasia, we have to stop them from multiplying while also stopping them from ending up in streets in the first place,” he said. “Kathmandu will not be an ideal city unless it has vaccinated and managed its four-footed street dwellers.”

The threat of stray dogs to public safety has been a concern in the Capital for long. A Department of Health Services report states that close to 2,000 people are bitten by dogs in Kathmandu district each year. Across Nepal, close to 40,000 people are given anti-rabies vaccine each year with more than 96 percent of cases being dog bites.

The KMC is currently holding consultations with chiefs of Kathmandu’s 35 wards, Ward Citizen Forums, local health professionals, political leaders, clubs and organisations to make the campaign successful with public participation. 

The KMC has planned to conduct community meetings, organise awareness programmes, form dog management committees and collect data before vaccinating the canines against rabies and neutering female dogs.

There are an estimated 300,000 pet dogs in Kathmandu district while 150,000 more are on the streets. The large presence of hounds in the city neighbourhoods but without proper shelter and care poses a health threat. The United States Environmental Protection Agency says that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million faecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in humans. 

Moreover, the EPA estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and fishing.

The KMC has signed an agreement with Humane Society International and The Jane Goodall Institute on March 16 to rid the Capital of street dogs within three years. The metropolis has allocated Rs35 million for the next fiscal year. The metropolis has already made it mandatory for pet owners to register their dogs.

Published: 08-05-2016 08:10

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