Stray dogs can be a horror and annoyance for common people. But stray dogs are a greater menace in our drive against rabies, as they are the major carriers of this near incurable and usually lethal disease.
India is cursed with the highest number of rabies cases in the world. Bite this – more than 70% of the world’s rabies cases occur in India. Veterinary scientist Professor, A. P. Galhotra, conducted a study under the aegis of the Punjab Agricultural University on the same issue. The survey revealed that around 3 million people are annually bitten by dogs in the country and nearly 30,000 of those die (due to rabies). Investigations revealed that Punjab and Haryana reported 2,327 cases of dog bites, of which 1,804 dog bite cases were rabies infected. Surprisingly, even after such a high casualty rate, India produces only 120 litres of anti-rabies serum as against the projected national requirement of 1,500 litres.
Killing stray dogs might appear cruel, but measures like sterilisation and other means of controlling canine population can also be actively pursued. After all, this is the case where the bite is worse than the bark... much worse!