First dog-managed zone declared in KMC

Kathmandu, September 29

Ward number 20 of Kathmandu Metropolitan City has been officially declared the first Dog-managed Zone in the country.

As many as 157 dogs have been sterilised and vaccinated against rabies, while the children in 20 government schools located in the ward have gone through a street dog awareness programme.

The KMC, which runs a humane dog population management programme called ‘ManuMitra’, with support from Humane Society International and Jane Goodall Institute Nepal, declared the achievement a day after World Rabies Day.

According to the Teku-based Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, of nearly 200 patients who visit the hospital on a daily basis, the average number of dog bite cases stand at 150.

Four persons are known to have died of rabies just last year due to lack of knowledge and timely treatment.

Sarah Valentine, Nepal programme manager, HSI Asia, said, “We are thrilled that our efforts to humanely control the population of dogs in Kathmandu and vaccinate them against rabies have achieved a milestone in ward number 20.

It is a clear indication of the programme’s progress and other wards will be soon to follow in being declared dog managed.”

Hari Kumar Shrestha, chief of the KMC’s Urban Health Division, said, “Simply killing or removing the dogs will not have a lasting impact on the dog population or the spread of rabies because dogs reproduce rapidly.

Kathmandu Metropolitan City is looking after each of the 35 wards and is seeking to understand the problem caused by the street dog population in the community, and establish a ward-level Animal Management Committee in each ward to address the issue.”

KMC, with support from HSI and the Jane Goodall Institute Nepal, launched ManuMitra, known officially as the First Metropolitan Dog Management Programme, in Kathmandu in April.

The program aims to sterilise and vaccinate 80 per cent of the city’s estimated 22,000 streets dogs.