mid-day editorial: Stray efforts aren't enough to curb attacks

Updated: Dec 16, 2016, 06:10 IST | mid-day correspondent |

It was canine terror in Mumbai again, as a stray dog went on a rampage in Vasai, biting 14 locals – among them was a girl whose face was brutally gouged

It was canine terror in Mumbai again, as a stray dog went on a rampage in Vasai, biting 14 locals – among them was a girl whose face was brutally gouged.

We are seeing more such stray dog vs man skirmishes, especially in residential enclaves where dogs are turning increasingly dangerous.

The authorities need to up the sterilization drive to control the stray dog menace. The municipal authorities are fairly quick in response to complaints but in certain cases, locals have stated that it takes them a day to arrive.

At times, they say a vehicle is unavailable, and sometimes, it is difficult to get a dog-catcher at short notice. Here, this dog was alone. Sometimes, there are more dogs, and they can prove elusive to catch.

It is time to take tackling the stray problem to a more professional level. Professional dog handlers can be consulted by the BMC. We also need to see that children are not ill-treating strays and provoking them, although this was not what happened in the Vasai case. With strays on the increase, it is time to fill in the lacunae, and generate more public awareness about how to deal with canine problems in their area.

Most importantly, there has to be adequate supply of anti-rabies vaccines in the city. In the past, medical institutions have struggled to get anti-rabies injections. This has resulted in dangerous delays for bite victims. It has, in certain cases, led to the patient being shifted from one centre to the next, in search of the treatment.

It is evident, though, that this is a problem that is on the rise and our methods of tackling it need a revised, methodical, professional approach. It needs to be revamped and taken up a notch. Let's equate the response to the magnitude and gravity of the problem.

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