Goa’s ‘stray dog bite’ menace seems to be growing at an alarmingly terrifying pace.
According to a TOI Goa report, Hospicio hospital in Mapusa registered 2130 dog bite cases for this year, so far. That’s an average of more than 6 bites a day.
However, the Margao Municipal council seems to be in denial of the rising population of stray dogs. It’s chairperson Babita Prabhudesai is in denial of the seriousness of the situation. The MMC says it needs to verify the number of stray dogs.
An advocate named Rajeev Gomes said he had lodged a complaint with the Directorate of Vigilance regarding the stray dog menace some months ago, but the directorate has not yet summoned him to record his statement.
The former MMC Chairperson Savio Coutinho had cofounded the South Goa Animal Welfare Trust with Sandra Fernandes. This trust began with a capacity for housing 40 stray dogs and continues till date. They have been promised larger pieces of land and more cages but these promises have not been fulfilled as yet.
The stray dogs have been known to bark, chase and bite passersby and tear off two-wheeler seat covers. They seem to be everywhere, especially at night when they assemble in packs.
The menace of stray dogs is not only in Margao area, it seems to be a problem all over Goa.
Has there been any census of the total number of stray dogs in Goa, or even in any particular ward? There are no reports about the same. Is there a concrete plan to handle this problem? We do not know of any plan so far. If anyone does know of a plan please inform us of the same.
While it is humane to care for the welfare of stray dogs, one needs to keep in mind the magnitude of the problem. One needs to carry out a census to ascertain whether the number of stray dogs is manageable or whether steps need to be taken to curb their population. One also needs to find the most acceptable way for stray dogs and humans to co-exist peacefully. The number of dog bites can’t just be allowed to increase. Adequate steps need to be taken to address the issue. There are many viable options as solutions to the problem. The first step, of course, is to publicly accept that there is a problem.
Information source Times of India – Goa