Campaign launched on SHC's orders
The Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has killed over 500 stray dogs since March started.
The corporation began a dog-culling campaign in Hyderabad and Latifabad on March 1 after the Sindh High Court ruled that if a person is bitten by a dog, the MPA of that area will be suspended.
According to the municipal officer, the action was taken after cases of dog bites in the city rose.
This year’s first case of rabies was reported in Sindh on February 24 when a man from Khairpur was moved to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre after a rabid dog bit him.
According to animal experts, culling does not reduce the chances of a dog bite nor does it control the animal’s population.
“In all these years, we have seen multiple culling campaigns by government authorities but the population of stray dogs remained the same,” Ayesha Chundrigar, an animal rights activist and the founder of the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation, told SAMAA Digital in an interview last month.
“Dogs are territorial and when they see their species decreasing, they mate quickly,” she said. “It’s like survival of the fittest.”
This proves that killing these dogs doesn’t benefit anyone. It’s plain murder, Chundrigar said.
What can instead be done to control their population is to vaccinate and neuter them. If you have stray dogs in your area, here’s what you can do:
“Killing stray dogs is not only cruel and a criminal act, but it will not solve the problem either. The only long-term solution known worldwide is to vaccinate and sterilize them,” said Dr Naseem Salahuddin, the program director of Rabies Free Pakistan.
“RFP has demonstrated this and we strongly stand by our conviction. If the local government had agreed and worked alongside us years back, the public would not have been suffering bites.”
However, Dr Salahuddin said there was still time for the local government to work with them.
The first thing to do after a dog bite is to wash the wound with soap and water, Dr JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali said.
The next most important step is to visit a hospital and get an anti-rabies shot.
A dog bite does not mean that you have been bitten by a dog and you get yourself vaccinated once. You have to get vaccinated four times over a period of 14 days and an immunoglobulin vaccine also has to be administered.
It is very important that you get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible because untreated rabies is 100% fatal, said Dr Jamali.