PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Livestock Department has announced a financial reward for the virus-idled public of Peshawar of `getting cash over catching stray dogs’.
The department has made a public announcement through an advertisement released on May 30 that states: `Get Rs200 cash for catching a stray dog’.
“The objective of the reward is to involve those who have lost livelihoods due to the coronavirus lockdown in an activity that aims at ensuring better public health and safety,” said KP Livestock Department Director Dr Syed Masoom Ali Shah.
The initiative of announcing financial reward is for Livestock Department’s ongoing project of sterilization of stray dogs to control its growing numbers and to protect the public from deadly rabies disease, Dr Masoom told APP.
The project to control stray dog population was launched in Peshawar in January 2020 jointly by District Administration (DC), Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP), Peshawar Development Authority and Health Department.
Under the project, Masoom added, it was decided to involve the public by offering them a financial incentive.
The incentive of a cash payment will sever as a catalyst in the sterilisation of strays dogs whose population is on increase with an increasing number of public complaints in this regards.
According to a survey of Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) there are around 7,500 to 10,000 stray dogs only in Peshawar district.
While according to statistics, the number of rabies cases in Pakistan are reported around 90,000 on an annual basis with 60 per cent of infection occurring among teenage boys as young as 15 years of age.
“As many dogs are brought by any person to the Livestock office, will be given a cash reward of Rs 200 per animal on the spot,” Masoom claimed.
The dog will be sterilised by conducting an operation at the Livestock Department and released again in open. Before releasing the dog, a collar with reflectors will be fixed around its neck and a tattoo would be printed in its ear as a mark that the dog is already operated.
“The project is first ever in Pakistan and will not only serve in maintaining public health through containing rabies but would also stop the cruel practice of culling of stray dogs through shooting and poisoning,” Dr Masoom remarked.
This is a pilot project and presently is confined only to Peshawar district which can be extended to other districts of the province later after observation of results, he expressed the hope.
Dr Masoom informed that Livestock Department has established a state of the art operation theatre in Peshawar and has the capacity of operating several dogs on a daily basis.
Three more operation theatres are to be established under the project in separate locations of the city at Chagharmati, Regi Lalma and Badabair areas.
Dr Masoom also advised people to be careful in catching a dog which can bite them. He said a stray dog can easily be coaxed by offering some meal, patting on the head and then tie it with a rope.