Stray dogs control to be done through Mission Mode Campaign; Action plans discussed to deal with the issue competently

The issue of stray dogs has been a constant and rising concern in Ladakh despite the various initiatives implemented and underway since the past years.

In this regard, Secretary Ravinder Kumar called a meeting with all stakeholders to discuss and develop means and measures for tackling the menace caused by stray dogs including threat to life, in a constructive and time-bound manner.

Dr. Tsewang Dorjey, Technical Officer, Department of Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries through a presentation highlighted ongoing initiatives under the Animal Birth Control Program of the Department viz vaccination, sterilization and informed the chair that a total of 22145 stray dogs have been sterilized by the Department since 2013.

Secretary Ravinder stated that all stakeholders must own the problem in order to succeed. He urged all concerned Departments viz Department of Animal/Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Municipal Cooperation, Wildlife Department and concerned NGOs to work in a coordinated manner and develop an Action Plan to deal with the issue.

He directed MC Leh to set up an exclusive team of stray dog catchers while ensuring that they are provided with proper gears, equipments and ensure their vaccination for their safety. Further, Secretary Ravinder directed MC Leh to mobilize the registration, vaccination and sterilization of pet dogs as well.

Food waste management in MC areas and streamlining food waste in army cantonments post discussions with the Army was also deliberated at length, further stressing on spreading awareness as part of the MCs Tsangda project.

Dr. Nurzin Angmo, CMO Leh informed the meeting that in the 2022, a total of 2000 dog bite cases were registered at SNM Hospital, with 232 cases registered so far in 2023.

Detailed deliberations were also held on controlling feral dogs causing uncountable loss to livestock as well as wildlife. Secretary Ravinder urged that an action plan be developed, including a dog census and assured the required financial support for implementing the plan of action. He also stressed on the need to involve the villages/local communities in the endeavors once chalked out.

Deputy Commissioner Leh Shrikant Suse, Dr. Zahida Bano, Director Urban Local Bodies, Dr M. Iqbal, CAHO, Animal Husbandry Department, Wildlife Wardens of Leh and Kargil, Project Coordinator Live to Rescue and other concerned officials Leh and Kargil attended the meeting.

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