Manipur mulls dog census after livestock killings

Manipur mulls dog census after livestock killings

Livestock killed by suspected stray dogs in Churachandpur district in Manipur recently. (Photo credit: Veterinary and Animals Husbandry Department, Manipur)

Manipur government will soon start a dogs census after the investigation revealed that stray dogs had killed livestock in the past two months, triggering panic across the state.

The state forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar said in Imphal that all urban local bodies would be instructed to identify domestic and stray dogs as the latter was found to have killed livestock across the state since October 27.

The killings of domestic animals such as goats, fowls, ducks and sheeps by unidentified predator began in the hilly Churachandpur district and were subsequently reported from Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching and Kangpokpi districts. The spate of killings had created panic among residents, prompting the state government to seek help of experts from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradoon.

A two-member team of the institute including a forensic biologist had laid traps and installed cameras in different places in those districts to identify the predators. The team on Thursday concluded that stary dogs were found behind the killings.

"Since the recent killings of the livestock were carried out by animals including stray dogs, there is a chance of spread of rabies. So the dogs in the urban areas need proper identification for necessary action to prevent spread of rabies," a statement quoting the minister, said.

Shyamkumar said veterinary and animal husbandry department would be consulted to carry out the census to identify the pet dogs and the stray animals. He also appealed residents to put collar belts around their pet dogs and not to let loose them on the streets.

Altogether 162 livestock have been killed in 42 incidents since October 27. Angry over the spate of killings and the administration's alleged failure to identify the predators, residents started killing wild animals like mongoose, fruit bats and leopard cat.