Stray dog menace in our cities is a growing problem that poses danger to lives. It portends difficult times ahead as the man-animal conflict is only going to rise with rising human and stary populations.
Recently Wagh Bakri scion Parag Desai died following a fall while trying to escape stray dogs near his house in Ahmedabad.
Data from the AMC, GVK-EMRI Ambulance Service and Ahmedabad Civil Hospital shows that man-animal conflict is on the rise in the Gujarat capital with animal bite cases rising from 52,318 in 2020 to a whopping 59,513 in 2022. In 2023, the civic body reported 51,574 cases of animal bites till September. Animal bite cases include those involving dogs, cats and monkeys, though the largest number is regarding dogs as they happen to be the most conspicuous and ferocious.
The AMC in a letter to the Chief Minister’s Office informed the state administration that it had received 6,998 complaints against stray dogs in 2023 so far. Of these, the highest number of complaints came from the West Zone (1,384), followed by the South Zone (1,167) and the North West Zone (1,034).
At least 8,430 patients sought treatment for dog bites (stray and pet) at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital between October 2022 and September 2023.
The GVK-EMRI data shows that the extent of injuries caused due to such conflicts is not restricted to bites. As per the data, 5,850 people across the state needed ambulance transportation after being injured by stray animals.
Of these, 1,585 patients or 27% of all cases, were in the four largest districts of the state. The highest number of animal-caused injuries were in Ahmedabad (737) followed by Surat (403) Vadodara (250) and Rajkot (195) between October 2022 and September 2023.
However, there has been no concrete plan or visible action by the civic bodies, except sporadic drives, that can stem the problem and save further loss of precious lives.