SRI NAGAR: Former Union Water Resources Minister and senior Congress leader Saif-ud-Din Soz has come up with a “solution” to eliminate dog menace in Jammu and Kashmir.
He suggests that male and female dogs be segregated and that a tax be imposed on pet owners in the state.
“I can say with confidence that the segregation of male and female dogs is the only workable solution to eliminate the dog menace,” Soz, the former J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chairman, said.
He claimed that this segregation can be done in phases and may not require any enormous funding. Kashmir is facing a growing threat of canines with cases of dog bites being reported every day.
According to officials, about 26,000 people were bitten by dogs in the last one year. They said on an average over 2,000 dog bite cases are reported every month across the Valley.
In 2012, the government had revealed that the stray dog population in Srinagar was 91,110. Soz said that the killing of dogs could not be allowed in modern times as a solution to the problem. “Sterilisation cannot solve this gigantic problem as the process of sterilisation is a slow operation while growth of dogs is an extreme geometrical progression,” he said.
In 2012, the then Jammu and Kashmir government had launched the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme to bring down the canine population in the summer capital. About 50,000 dogs were to be operated but the process did not bring the desired results and the ABC programme was dropped mid-way. “As a Union Minister of Environment and Forests, I had rejected sterilisation as an effective instrument to check the growth of dog menace as it was part of my duty to take a decision on this subject,” Soz said.
He proposed that the government take steps towards a comprehensive legislation envisaging non-existence of street dogs while pets should be allowed against a license with tax. At least, 20 persons died of rabies in Kashmir from 2008 to 2012. In the same period, over 58,000 cases of dog bites had been reported.
Soz said he had taken up the issue with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and had urged him to lend his government’s support to the resolution of the problem.
Independent legislator and MLA Langate Er Rashid had in the last Assembly session introduced a private member’s bill to curb the stray dog menace in the state through control and regulation.