Do not kill them, sterilise them, an initiative of KP government to control increasing number of stray dogs in Province without causing any harm.
The dog is one of the most common animals in the world and it is very famous for its loyalty with the human beings as it has a strong and ancient bond with the human history but we can not deny a fact that they are dangerous and rather more fatal when they become rabid.
A stray or rabid dog can be seen anywhere in Pakistan; however, Peshawar has a huge problem with free-roaming dogs and was a kind of headache for the provincial government as the government was struggling with ways to manage the issue.
Almost a couple of years ago the KP government had decided to launch a shooting campaign against the stray dogs in order to get rid of the increasing population of dogs in the city; however, the common masses had raised their reservations over the move of the government under which hundreds of dogs were culled in Peshawar city.
Following grave criticism from the public and many human rights, and civil society activists over the killing of hundreds of stray dogs, the KP government in a very positive move introduced the sterilisation of stray dogs which will control the increasing number dogs and will also let the people to move freely in the city without the fear of bite of stray dogs.
According to the latest estimate of the livestock department, there are around 7000 stray dogs across the provincial capital and the fear among the masses was hiking as the number of dog bite cases were sharply increasing day by day.
Meanwhile, the experts hailed the move of the provincial government and believed that the project would ensure that the stray dogs do not threaten people with rabies as the anti-rabies vaccine has been short in the majority of hospitals in KP and this shortage of vaccine was nothing more than a headache for the KP government.
On the move of the government experts commented that sterilisation of the stray would save human lives and also it is cost-effective solution for the health department since the rabies vaccines are very expensive. He added that if all the dogs in the area are sterilised and tagged, then nobody will need to buy the anti-rabies vaccines.
On the other hand in order to run the sterilisation project effectively and with a swift pace, the Peshawar administration has allocated prize money of Rs200 per dog for people who want to bring dogs into the operation theatres of the civil veterinary hospital.
While talking to us a senior veterinary doctor Qaim Ali said that for the first time ever in the history of the country the KP government has decided to sterilise the dogs instead of killing as killing of animals is cruel and is a great sin in the eyes of God.
He stated that like the KP government the rest of the government and particularly the Sindh government should also introduce such concept because it would help the governments to curb the dog bites and avoid any looming anti-rabies crisis in the hospitals.
It is here important to mention that that dog bites can cause rabies, which is a fatal viral infection. Statistics show that approximately 90,000 cases of rabies are reported from across the country annually with some 60% of infections occurring among people as young as 15 years of age.
The project has been approved by the district administration and a worth of Rs20 million allocated for the purpose. The project was launched to control the population of stray dogs with modern diagnostic equipments including haematology analyser and ultrasound machines. Besides, qualified and trained staff has been chosen to do the job.
It must be noted that Zeba Masood, a US citizen of Pakistani origin had established first sanctuary of stray dogs in posh University Town area of Peshawar. The facility known as Lucky Animal Protection Centre is the first of its kind that was established to save street dogs from beating, maltreatment and malnourishment.