Ca­nines blamed for ‘mys­te­ri­ous’ at­tacks on Ma­nipur live­stock

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - Nation - Ut­pal Parashar let­[email protected]­dus­tan­ ■

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.

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