BBMP to adopt scientific methods for dog census

After drawing flak over the dog menace in Bengaluru, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will take up the much delayed canine census. And to rule out any errors, the BBMP will adopt scientific methods like face and skin recognition tools in the exercise.

The survey will also help the BBMP keep a tab on the implementation of the controversial Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme. A similar initiative has already been carried out on a pilot basis in New Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. The civic body is close to finalising tenders for the project which is likely to be rolled out in a few days. Dr G Anand, deputy director, Animal Husbandry wing of the BBMP said, “We are awaiting the final nod to roll out the tender which specifies mandatory use of facial and skin recognition applications. The previous data with the BBMP was based on a stray census carried out in 2012 at a cost of Rs 34 lakh. However, the latest survey would cost us more than Rs 50 lakh per zone.

Giving details on the census, an official said, “The bidder conducting the census will take pictures of stray dogs in each street with the technology and registers the face and skin texture. It will be so accurate that even if the stray dog’s photo is repeated, the final count will deduct the data for the same dog based on what has already been registered by sensors.” During the 2007 census, the stray dog population was pegged at 1.8 lakh, which went up to 2.9 lakh in 2012. Palike officials revealed that 90% of the dogs in the city are believed to be strays.

Following complaints about pig menace in newly added localities of BBMP, the corporation has also decided to float separate tenders for capturing stray pigs. Last year, the BBMP in a similar drive, had captured 65 stray pigs and earned a revenue of Rs 69,300 (for 990 kgs). According to the 2011 animal census, there are about 5,821 stray pigs in the city and the BBMP says the number might have increased as stray pigs litter twice a year with a minimum of 9 to 12 young ones at a time.

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