KMC spaying dogs to check their number

Kathmandu, November 22:

After facing vociferous protests from animal rights activists over the indiscriminate killing of stray dogs, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has stopped mass killings of street dogs and has been spaying them for last two years. “Respecting animals’ rights we have stopped mass killings of stray dogs and have now focused on controlling their birth rates through different means, including the spaying of bitches,” said Dr Baburam Gautam, chief of the Public Health Department at KMC.

He said an anti-rabies vaccination drive for the dogs had also been initiated by KMC. The change in focus from killings to spayings is the result of the anti-cruelty drives, the shortage of body bags for the dead dogs and the problem of finding an appropriate site for the cremation of the dead bodies. “We have been receiving pressure from various communities to kill stray dogs but we have now decided on new methods to control the number of dogs on the street. Our new procedure will show concrete results after 15 years, if implemented properly,” he said.

The spayed bitches will be identified by the cuts on their ears and belts. The Environment Department and Public Health Department used to kill some 10,000 stray dogs in the valley with poison every year to control the number of stray dogs and to keep people safe from rabies. Estimates show there are some 30,000 stray dogs in Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City and surrounding areas but other estimates put the number of dogs at more than 70,000.

Dr Gautam said some 200 people die of rabies in Nepal every year, while around 12 people are admitted at Teku Hospital each month for treatments of dog bites during the breeding season of the dogs. About 2,000 bitches have already been spayed. Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre in Budhanilkantha, with support from donors, has been providing the spaying facility for upto 18 stray dogs each week.