Nagpur: The number of dog bite cases in Nagpur city between April-October 2022 has reached around 5,000. This means dog bite cases may cross last year’s record of around 6,806 by the end of the month of March.
In 2020-21, the lowest number of dog bite cases (2,584) were reported in the last 5 years because of the lockdown due to COVID-19. That is, if proper action is not taken at all, then this time the dog bite cases will break the record of the last two years.
Crucial data regarding dog bites, anti-rabies vaccination, and sterilization was shared by the health office of NMC in response to an RTI application filed by activist Sachin Khobragade. The reply also reveals that no sterilization was done at all since 2019-20, Which may also be the reason behind the increasing number of dogs, resulting in a massive menace of dogs in the last year.
“I have even got a reply to my RTI query yesterday and I am quite shocked to know that as per NMC records there are only 71,000 stray dogs in the entire Nagpur city. The number should be more than one lakh at present. Sachin Khobragade sought details of a recent dog survey conducted by the NMC, for which the civic authorities shared a 2017 survey, Which indicates that since then no survey has been done at all.” Sachin Khobragade said.
Anti-rabies vaccination is the only effective tool
The anti-rabies vaccination data is also very worrying. In the same reply, the civic authorities have also admitted that there are more than 71,000 stray dogs in the city. But the maximum number of anti-rabies vaccination was done in 2017 and was 32,082. Since then, annual anti-rabies vaccination numbers have also been falling significantly. During the pandemic, it dropped to 6,838.
Till the month of October this year, NMC has vaccinated 13,483 dogs with six months left in the financial year. Vaccination has to be done every year.
Tejas Wankhede, founder-secretary of the Private Pets Practitioners Association, has also said that private groups and NGOs vaccinate dogs against rabies. But they also lack resources like civic bodies.
“Anti-rabies vaccination is also the only effective tool for completely ensuring the safety of dogs as well as people. The NMC should ideally also vaccinate at least 50% of the stray dogs every year,” They said.