India

4-year-old child killed in attack, India challenges stray dog ​​problem-CNN.co.jp

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A wild dog is captured in Madhya Pradesh, India, October 2022/Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times/Getty Images/FILE

Published on Monday 2023.04.03 15:20 JST

New Delhi (CNN) A 4-year-old boy spent nearly a minute trying to escape a pack of wild dogs that surrounded him.

I struggled to break free from the body being dragged by the dog, but my small body was powerless to resist.

By the time the father not far away heard the screams and rushed over, it was already too late. The boy was certified dead after being taken to hospital.

The incident took place in Hyderabad, Telangana, India, in February. Surveillance camera footage shocked the country’s 1.3 billion people and has long divided the public over what to do with the large numbers of stray dogs.

“Cannibal” or “Best Friend”?

This is a sensitive issue in a country that embraces a culture of respect for animals and aversion to killing them. Despite the general consensus that stray dogs are a problem, there has been fierce debate about what to do with them.

According to Indian news agency PTI, there are about 62 million stray dogs in the country. But experts say it’s nearly impossible to verify the actual numbers.

Most wild dogs are known as “independent dogs” and live in harmony with humans. Local residents sometimes cooperate in feeding them or adopting them as pets.

However, incidents of being bitten or killed by stray dogs continue to occur, and various measures have been taken by political leaders, media and citizens in various places.

Long before the death of a 4-year-old in Hyderabad was in the spotlight, local media reported a similar story about a “killer dog”.

India’s Telegraph newspaper reported last month that “man-eating dogs” were terrorizing residents in the northern state of Bihar.

Hunting of wild dogs is banned in India. A 2001 law states that wild dogs must be captured, neutered, neutered, vaccinated against rabies and then released.

In November 2022, people protested the court’s decision to ban the feeding of stray dogs in public places.

But with people, especially children, being attacked by dogs, some voices are starting to challenge the law.

In 2016, after a spate of dingo attacks in the southern state of Kerala, local news reported a campaign calling for the culling of dingoes.

Animal rights activists criticized the move and called on authorities to come up with an alternative solution. The plan was later abandoned.

Spaying, neutering and vaccinating stray dogs is required by law, but experts say there is no strict enforcement.

“We have a rabies problem and a wild dog problem. So we have to deal with both problems at the same time,” said the head of an animal protection organization in New Delhi.

Rabies problem in India

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99% of human rabies cases are transmitted by dogs. India accounts for 36% of the world’s rabies deaths.

The key to reducing rabies is capturing and vaccinating as many feral dogs as possible.

However, experts from animal protection groups say India’s measures are not enough, saying: “When dogs are neutered or neutered, they are vaccinated only once and then released. Wild dogs are only vaccinated once in their lifetime. It is not enough,” he said. He said.

A lack of resources is also making it difficult for government agencies to increase dingo vaccinations, he said. However, he stressed the need for the government to educate the public on what to do if bitten by a dog and how to prevent it.

According to government statistics, more than 6.8 million people were bitten by dogs in 2020, a sharp increase from 3.9 million in 2012. But experts say those numbers may not tell the whole story.

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