It should be advertised
The Sindh High Court has instructed the government to immediately restore the helpline launched to tackle the rising cases of dog bites in the province.
“When there’s a dedicated helpline, why are you not using it?” the court asked. Advocate Tariq Mansoor replied that the complaint number has been generalised.
This irked the bench. “The 109 helpline is easy to remember,” Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar said. “Who will be able to remember an 11 or 12 digit number?”
Restore the old helpline and make sure you advertise it on all media platforms, he instructed.
In a hearing on Wednesday, the additional secretary told the court that the Sindh cabinet has approved the by-laws on vaccination and neutering of stray dogs.
“But when will a notification be passed?” Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar inquired. It has instructed all the cantonment boards, DMCs, and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to implement the laws.
The petitioner complained that stray dogs in most of the areas are not tagged which makes it difficult to identify which dogs are vaccinated and which aren’t.
“Why aren’t you tagging the animals?” Justice Mazhar asked. You talk about following the Turkish model and that clearly says stray dogs should be tagged after vaccination. What aren’t you doing the same?
The court highlighted multiple areas of Karachi such as Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir, and Faisal Cantonment where nothing has been done to control dog bites or the stray dog population.
Justice Mazhar has ordered the additional secretary to prepare a detailed report on the vaccination of stray dogs and submit it in court. The hearing has been adjourned till August 17.
In March 2021, the government set up a complaint centre after the number of dog bite cases in the province rose. Its advertisement said that shooting and poisoning stray dogs were not viable options.
The government has adopted a modern and scientific method to vaccinate and neuter dogs. People should, therefore, avail this option instead of killing the animals.