After a five-year gap, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will carry out a dog census in the city, following repeated suggestions from the Animal Welfare Board to ensure that there are adequate records of the stray dog population.
The census will be carried out through a private agency, Human Society International (HSI). The organisation has an experience of conducting census in Dhaka and Ahmedabad.
“Census will be done in a scientific method and not by head count. By this census we will get the estimated number of stray dogs, their sex ratio and data of sterilised and unsterilised dogs in the city,” said Dr Arun Bamne, executive health officer of the BMC.
The HSI will select about 46 areas under the civic health posts randomly. There are 183 civic health posts in the city but HSI will select only 25% of these a sample size which will be extrapolated for the entire city.
In the last 19 years, ever since the sterilisation programme was taken up in 1994, at least 2 lakh strays have been sterilised. However, in 2007, the BMC carried out dog census and the number of stray dogs recorded were 74,926. Not only did these two figures contradict each other, but the number of dog bite cases was also on a rise.
The civic body then decided to form a committee -- a study group for stray dogs under the chairmanship of general manager of Deonar abattoir. The committee was expected to come up with a solution to curb the dog population and also ways to control the bite cases.
In 2008, the Animal Welfare Board of India suggested to the civic body to carry out a fresh census. But the civic body never bothered to follow the directions. In 2010, when the dog bite cases rose, the board once again asked the BMC to carry out the census. However, the BMC did not pay heed even then. Nevertheless, the civic body has now resolved to carry out a census this year at the cost of Rs10 lakh. email@example.com