May 24, 2018-
The mounting number of stray dogs in Kathmandu has become one of the most serious threats to city dwellers. The residents of the capital have been facing this nuisance for years with cases of dog bites being reported almost every day. Commuters are under compulsion to endure such deadly difficulties daily due to lack of control of stray dogs. Children are more likely than adults to be injured by dogs.
Street dogs also have many negative impacts on urban surroundings and human health. They cause sound pollution, poop problems and traffic accidents. Dog attacks have caused various diseases and the death of people due to fatal injuries. Thousands of people including kids suffer from street dog bites on a daily basis. There are many instances of free roaming mutts attacking pedestrians leading to serious diseases and painful death. Yet, Kathmandu Metropolitan city (KMC) has not been able to control the number of street dogs and eliminate rabies through different techniques.
A couple of months ago when I was walking along the banks of the Bagmati River at Balkhu, a pack of stray dogs came out of nowhere and viciously mauled me, resulting in a wound to my right thigh which began bleeding profusely. I was badly wounded. It was really a life threatening injury. Instantly, I went to a doctor and got anti-rabies shots. Since that day, I have become a victim of cynophobia or fear of dogs. Nowadays, I am scared even to go for a walk in a public park for fear of getting bitten by free roaming dogs. Street ramblers like me are always prone to dog attacks. This horrible situation has truly violated the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being assaulted by stray dogs.
The proliferation of street dogs in Kathmandu has posed a menace to public health. Even a small scratch from infected dogs can transfer and spread rabies which is a deadly disease. The death of a street dog even affects the environment. People toss the carcass in the river and which fouls the community water supply. Dog poop harbours germs that could cause intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in humans. People get more scared of dog bites than anything else as there are stray dogs on every street corner in Kathmandu.
The most urgent task that we need to do to reduce the stray dog population is manage our garbage better. In order to deal with this problem, the government needs to conduct a mass vaccination campaign against rabies targeting the entire stray dog population. Some people have caught and killed healthy dogs by brutally beating them, running their vehicles over them or poisoning them which is ethically questionable. Therefore, the government should make plan to spay female dogs as a measure to minimise the canine population in the Valley.
- PURNA KUMAR LAMA
Published: 24-05-2018 07:11