And Humans Need Be Rescued. After All Life Has A Value.
A 10 year old boy was feared dead Monday evening when stray dogs chased him on the banks of River Jhelum in Zaina Kadal area of old city. The boy slipped into the river and drowned’.
(Greater Kashmir March 15, 2011) A young man in Tral area of South Kashmir dies of rabid-dog bite in severe pain and agony. Another boy died of dog bite in North Kashmir Uri town. So, dogs are on the prowl; on a killing spree from north to south and now in brutal conflict with human race in historic city of Srinagar.
Dogs being domesticated form of ‘grey wolves’ are found in almost all parts of the world. Dogs have lived with human race as domesticated animal for thousands of years and even now are being considered the best pets of mankind. Bonding between humans and dogs as pets or otherwise has a long history and this relationship had always been of symbiotic nature. Within human habitation dogs would get protection against predators, reliable food with very less efforts and congenial and safe atmosphere to breed. Human association with dogs had always been of great significance for mankind, garnished with tremendous levels of loyalty; as dogs possess sharp sense of smell and hearing, cleaning human waste, protection against enemies and assistance in hunting are many attributes of canine family that are of great value to mankind. However, even after many thousand years of domestication, genetic traits and behavioral attitude of dogs are almost same, as that of a ‘wolf’, grey wolf to be precise. Generally, as long as wolves are in low numbers and have sufficient food to cater their needs they are not dangerous to humans but once in large numbers and in direct confrontation with human beings in quest for their food they attack and kill people.
Same is the case with dogs and this trait of wolves is predominantly overriding almost on all other characteristics of dogs. It is a fact that dogs contribute in maintaining the ecological balance within their habitation and put in a lot for environmental stability, but once they cross that ‘n’ number, their wolf within overpowers the loyalty and much valued scavenging abilities, turning them into merciless beasts.
As no survey of dogs is practically possible in places like Kashmir but rough estimates suggest that number of dogs in valley has crossed the hundred thousand mark. During last two decades the dog population in Kashmir has grown exponentially, owing to many reasons. This unbalanced population of dogs has created a chaotic situation where dogs behave like wolves; hunting, mauling and killing people. Dog attacks are a common incident in every part of valley; particularly situation is pathetic in bigger towns and city of Srinagar. For last many years attacks by rabid dogs have proved fatal and many people, young and old died in extreme pain. Earlier, few dogs were found on the streets of Srinagar, mainly roaming around garbage dumps near hotels and restaurants and other densely populated areas but the current situation of dog menace is dissimilar; alarming status, where dogs roam in hordes out to maul any one coming in their way. Scavenging of waste by dogs is a fact but defecating by such a huge number of dogs at their will, at almost every place in human habitation is pathetic state of disastrous hygiene. Dogs are carriers of many diseases and parasites, many of which can harm the human population as well. And in a situation where almost every dog is astray and competing for his own existence within the community, such health hazards can create havoc. A passing look at dogs roaming on the streets will reveal the fact about these possible diseases and their harmful effects on human population.
A war against these rogue and harmful dogs has become unavoidable now; war for survival and better living for people of the valley, particularly in densely populated areas. I know, while writing these lines, a fringe minority of so-called animal lovers and some unheard of NGOs (non government organizations) will get annoyed and they will exploit my ‘war cry’ to justify their biased and pampered opinion of ‘cruelty against animals’. For last many years, as dogs in Kashmir are on a backward march towards ‘wolf mindset’ a big voice is raised by one and all to tame them and get their numbers to a rational level of coexistence but all goes to deaf ears. Self-styled champions of animal kingdom having no better knowledge and regard for fundamental principles of coexistence, environment and ecosystem governing the natural world are creating hurdles in drawing a reasonable balance between humans and the dogs. Narcissism has taken over the logic and reasoning! World over, scientific practices of neutering and euthanizing are practiced to control the population of canines and maintain the required balance between humans and dog population. But, at the moment situation in Kashmir dog picture is totally different and out of control, as a result Darwin’s theory of ‘struggle for existence’ aptly fits in present scenario. For last one week people in and around Zaina Kadal area protesting against dog menace and failure of authorities to control this nuisance. Administration being bullied by these ‘animal lovers’ and NGOs with legal action against any dog control move have created a situation of deadlock leaving the whole population at the mercy of crazy dogs and inflexible ‘Animal lovers’.
When euthanizing of dogs and cats is permissible in countries like America, where animal protection is much dearer than our half hearted love for dogs, why should we shy away from the fact that dogs can not be allowed to multiply disproportionately at the cost of human life and better living conditions. We all need to help the authorities to cross this hurdle of deadlock and find a way out, where thousands of years old companionship of humans and dogs can be saved and made to thrive by adopting both short and long term effective measures of managing dog population. Government in particular and animal protection agencies in general should wakeup; otherwise this human, dog confrontation will be cruel and chaotic, as no one will care for rules and laws, only existence will be the priority. Instead of making situation to go out of hand and people taking law in their hands, administration should move and move fast. .