Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Stray Menace

"Stray cattle menace haunts Margao again" was the headline of an article in today's online edition of Times Of India.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Stray-cattle-menace-haunts-Margao-again/articleshow/6424193.cms

It is quite typical to see people from the more developed countries of Europe and America, coming to India and gaping in wonder at the stray animal population, of dogs and cows on the streets and roads. It's an unusual sight and an oddity for them. But in India, it's a typicality.

Stray animals are indeed a big menace. Though we have learnt to adjust with them, the problems they pose cannot and should not go unnoticed.
The stray cows apart from making the roads dirty and creating clutter, also cause traffic jams and accidents.

The stray dogs are also infamous for getting aggressive, biting unsuspecting victims and also for spreading rabies.

So what should be done about it? Killing them is neither an ethical nor a practical solution. The first step would be to understand the root of the problem. What leads to the proliferation of the stray animals? The main reasons are exposed garbage dumps and prevalence of slums. While the former is aready source of food supplies for the pets, needed in order to survive, the latter has slum dwellers who tend to keep the strays(especially dogs) as free roaming pets. So first and foremost, the garbage dumps and the slum areas need to be checked.
Some stray dogs could be adopted as pets (as they very often are). It is a good option, but at the end of the day, they shouldn't turn into 'street dogs'. Yes, they may be very friendly and cute, but then they pose several hazards too. By taking adequate precautions, you are making the society a better place to live in and not harming the animals either.
Sterilising the stray dogs is a good precaution. That  way, they get to peacefully remain in the area, not become aggressive and not reproduce. Do follow this link to learn more.

As far as the stray cows are concerned, they need to be relocated to safe shelter homes away from the cities, the concerned government authorities,  MCD, welfare groups and NGOs  should be more vigilant in controlling the stray cattle and taking care of the sick and diseased cows and finally, there should be strict action against illegal dairies, which are often the very sources of stray cattle.

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