Canines blamed for ‘mysterious’ attacks on Manipur livestock
IMPHAL: Dog owners of Manipur have been advised to keep their pet dogs leashed after wildlife experts blamed the canines for a spate of attacks on livestock.
The state has been witnessing mysterious killings of livestock by unknown animals since November. Till Thursday, around 162 livestock, including poultry and piglets, were killed during 42 such incidents across the state.
“Necessary order will be issued to all the urban local bodies to identify domestic and stray dogs so that action can be taken up with the departments concerned. There are also chances of spread of rabies,” said forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar, who also holds municipal administration, housing and urban development portfolio.
The advisory from the ministry came after Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientists, who are conducting a probe into the reported killing of a large number of livestock by unknown animals in Manipur, disclosed the findings of their investigation through camera trapping that domestic and free-ranging dogs are responsible for livestock killings.
“There is evidence that domestic and free-ranging dogs are present in all areas (during the investigation),” said scientist Dr Gopi GV of WII.
“Thesedogswerehighlyactive during dark hours.”
Dr Gopi along with Aisho Sharma, a PhD research scholar of WII, studied the killing of livestock by laying camera traps around 10 locations in and around Imphal since December 2.
Stating that the issue of stray dogs is a global phenomenon, he added, there are reports of mass killing of sheep in Odisha last year.
Similar killings of poultry was also reported in Kerala.
“Otherwise, in our findings, all incidents except for few genuine deaths, there is no link to supernatural or superstitious beliefs,” he added.
Another WII scientist Salvador Lyngdoh, who had studied the Odisha episode, felt that livestock killing in Manipur may relate to a behavioural pattern of the canine family which happens during certain periods.
Based on their findings, the scientists also suggested to strengthen proper waste management and husbandry practices besides keeping the stray and pet dogs under control.
They said they will continue the monitoring and also suggested to strengthen veterinary interventions and monitoring of the wildlife in the region.
There is proof that domestic and freeranging dogs are present in all areas... These canines were highly active during dark hours. DR GOPI GV, WWI scientist
■ Recently, 162 livestock were killed in 42 such cases.