The Kathmandu Metropolitan City has urged animal welfare groups to join forces in managing community dogs in the Capital.
Speaking at an interaction programme on Thursday, chief and executive officer of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Rudra Singh Tamang said the number and situation of community dogs (or stray dogs) in the metropolis should be identified first.
“We’ve got to analyse benefits of win-loss of these animals bring to humans,” he said, adding that it would help in the management of such canines.
According to the KMC estimates, there are around 30,000 stray dogs in the Capital which mostly survive by scavenging thrown-away food and in some cases are fed by local people in their neighbourhoods.
A survey report of Animal Welfare Network Nepal shows most of the dogs end up on the streets after being abandoned by their owners, while their uncontrolled breeding multiplies their number. But they pose a threat to public safety and health as their saliva and excreta carry infectious disease vectors.
A Department of Health Services report states that close to 2,000 people are bitten by dogs in Kathmandu district each year. In Nepal, close to 40,000 people are given anti-rabies vaccine each year with more than 96 percent of the cases being dog bites.
Likewise, the United States Environmental Protection Agency says that one 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.
The KMC has partnered with Humane International Society for community dog management in the Capital. It has also allocated a budget of Rs35 million for the next fiscal year under the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Dog Management Programme. Under the programme, the KMC plans to vaccinate the dogs against rabies and make them sterile by spaying and neutering.
Nepal and Bangladesh Programme Manager for HSI Sarah Vallentine welcomed the cooperation among the animal rights groups to determine the number of dogs in the city and new migration, and to identify their impact in the society and the environment as a positive step towards their management.
Source: The Kathmandu Post