Siri Jagan panel calls for review of livestock census methods

Expressing doubts about the number of stray dogs as estimated during the livestock census, the S. Siri Jagan Committee called for a review of the methods adopted to count canids.

The panel raised this concern in its reports submitted to the Supreme Court last week. Incidentally, the Supreme Court is expected to issue an interim order on the stray dog ​​issue on Wednesday.

Census

The 19th livestock census of the livestock department, which was conducted before 2016, had estimated the animal population at 2,68,994. However, the latest census of 2019 puts it at 2,89,986, indicating an increase of just 20,992 individual dogs.

The committee has reason to doubt the accuracy of the census itself, since the increase in the stray dog ​​population is not proportional to the increase in the number of stray dog ​​bites and the increase in consumption of vaccines and immunoglobulins used for post-exposure prophylaxis in the state, the report points out.

Dog population

The slaughter of dogs has been prohibited since 2001 and animal birth control measures are not effectively implemented in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod. Yet the dog population in these districts would have decreased, which may not be the case in reality, given the number of stray dog ​​bites reported in these districts, the panel reported.

A female dog gives birth to eight to 10 puppies twice a year. Considering this aspect, the stray dog ​​population must have at least doubled in the state in the past six years, he pointed out.

The consumption of vaccines and immunoglobulins used for post-exposure prophylaxis, distributed by Kerala Medical Services Corporation, showed a 57% increase in the year 2021-22 compared to the year 2016-17. During the same period, consumption of equine rabies immunoglobulin increased by 109%, the panel noted.

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