The last official survey of street dogs in Delhi was done six years ago by the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi. That survey had put the stray population at approximately 5.62 lakh. But since its trifurcation into North, South and East corporations in 2012, the exercise hasn’t been taken up, partly due to lack of bidders.
“We plan to conduct a dog census in our area and, for that, we came out with bids. The last date to apply was August 10. Unfortunately, there were no bidders,” veterinary director (South corporation) RBS Tyagi said. “From April 2012 to March 2015, the South corporation sterilised 47,140 street dogs, which is nearly thrice the corresponding numbers for the North and East corporations. The year-wise figures are — 13,393 (April 2012-March 2013); 14,349 (April 2013-March 2014); and 19,398 (April 2014-March 2015),” he said.
The North and East corporations too are understood to be keen to conduct dog census in their respective areas, but there is no official word so far. The number of dogs sterilised by the North corporation from April 2012 to June 2015 was 19,128. The figure for the East corporation was 19,206 from April 2012 to May 2015.
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The stray dog menace has come into focus after a six-year-old boy was mauled to death by four dogs when he tripped and fell on them in Jamia Nagar this month.
Police said Mamun was playing with friends in Noor Nagar when he fell on the pack of dogs sleeping on a heap of sand. As the dogs woke up and started barking, a frightened Mamun began running. The dogs chased and attacked him, the police said. “As the dogs attacked the child, his friends fled. The child suffered injuries to his head, neck and face,” a police officer said.
After the incident, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Delhi High Court took suo motu cognisance of the issue.
The high court directed the civic corporations to submit a detailed status report on how the rules for controlling the stray dog population were being implemented by them.
The NHRC called for a wider debate on human rights against animal rights “in a situation where human lives are at risk due to attack by animals”.
Rabies has claimed the lives of eight persons in North Delhi this year so far. The number of death due to rabies in North Delhi in the last five years are 15 (2010); 16 (2011); 18 (2012); 12 (2013) and 20 (2014).
North Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta has said the civic agency was concerned about the increasing number of stray dogs in its area and was taking all possible steps to control and prevent dog bites or rabies cases.