The Bihar Post

300,000 people bitten by stray dogs in Bihar as canine aggression turns alarming

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PATNA—Stray dogs have gone on the rampage in Bihar. The burgeoning cases of dog bites have alarmed the residents even as the state government still remains undecided about how to tackle the dog menace.

According to an official report tabled on the floor of the Bihar assembly last week, more than three lakh cases of dog bites were reported from across the state in 2019-20. As per the report, the people in all the districts except for three—Sitamarhi, Lakhisarai and Banka—fell prey to attacks by street dogs during the period.

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Among all 38 districts in the state, a maximum of 30,000 cases of dog bites were reported from Muzaffarpur district, followed by 21,882 cases in Vaishali, 17,791 in Jehanabad and 17,408 in Bhojpur. Similarly, Nalanda district reported 16,656 dog bites cases whereas 16,545 cases were reported from Mdhubani.

The report said every victim of the dog bites had to take anti-rabies vaccines but didn’t mention if any death took place due to dog bite. The report was tabled on the floor of the state assembly last week when the month-long budget session of the Bihar House began on Friday.

However, a maximum of 10 lakh dog bite cases were reported in 2013-14 and 2014-15, leaving the officials startled.

The dog menace has turned alarming with each passing year with the state government not appearing to be serious towards containing the menace.

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Although there is no official data about the number of street dogs in the state, Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities say there are around 250,000 street dogs in Patna alone.

Authorities also say the dogs have turned aggressive as a result of month-long COVID-19-induced lockdown during which they faced severe food crisis as the residents remained locked in their homes due to coronavirus scare.

Recently, the PMC authorities had entered into an agreement with a Ghaziabad-based agency to catch stray dogs and conduct strerilization, birth control and anti-rabies programme but this is yet to be implemented.

“We are very serious towards containing the dog menace and have chalked out plan for their sterilization but it is yet to be brought into action. The problem behind it is that the location that we identified for keeping the stray dogs has been occupied by the state government,” PMC Standing Committee member Indradeep Chandravanshi said. He said the PMC was now searching for other suitable location.

Experts have suggested the municipal authorities to also take helps from the local doctors instead of getting only dependent on private agencies.

“The authorities have to take help from local veterinary doctors if the govt wants to contain of menace. Not every dog bite spreads rabies infection,” veterinary expert Dr Vikas Sharma said.

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