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Surge in Stray Dog Attacks: Belagavi District Faces Crisis

Surge In Stray Dog Attacks Belagavi District Faces Crisis

Belagavi: The residents of Belagavi district are grappling with a pressing issue as the number of stray dog attacks surges. According to the District Health and Family Welfare Department, there have been a staggering 44,417 cases of dog bites reported in the past 16 months. This alarming trend includes 34,479 incidents in 2023, with an additional 9,938 cases recorded from January to April 2024.

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Urgent Call for Action

Dr. Mahesh Koni, the District Health Officer, has emphasized that while the health department can provide treatment to dog bite victims, the responsibility of controlling stray dogs lies with municipal corporations, local bodies, and village panchayats. Dr. Koni has urged the District Collector to take immediate and effective action to address this growing concern.

Threat to Community Safety

The presence of stray dogs poses a significant threat to various segments of the community. Children are vulnerable to attacks while going to school or playing, laborers face risks on their way home from work, and even the elderly are not spared. The sight of packs of stray dogs roaming residential areas has instilled fear among citizens, undermining their sense of safety in their own neighborhoods. Belagavi city alone harbors approximately 15,000 stray dogs, with over 77,000 scattered across the district.

Calls for Accountability

Despite repeated warnings and directives from the district administration over the past two years, local authorities have failed to implement effective control measures.

Belagavi lawyers, led by advocate Anwar Nadaf, have issued a stern ultimatum to the district administration, threatening to escalate the matter to the Karnataka High Court if no action is taken within 15 days. Nadaf highlighted that the High Court has granted local bodies the authority to euthanize stray dogs in self-defense, but this measure has not been consistently enforced. He argued, “There is no animal more precious than man. If there are no humans, who.”

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