Pune: PMC scraps plan to use microchips to monitor stray dogs in Pune

Pune: PMC scraps plan to use microchips to monitor stray dogs in Pune

Pune: PMC scraps plan to use microchips to monitor stray dogs in Pune

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Pune Municipal Corporation halts microchipping plan due to high costs, prompting search for alternative solutions amidst rising dog bite cases.

June 29, 2024

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided not to proceed with the proposed plan to microchip stray dogs. The plan has been rejected due to high costs. This decision was made during a recent meeting between the PMC veterinary department and Pune Municipal Commissioner Rajendra Bhosale. The initiative aimed at monitoring and controlling the stray dog population has been shelved. Despite an alarming increase in dog bite cases, new alternatives have been sought.

The PMC’s veterinary department had devised a plan to implant microchips in stray dogs to track their movement, monitor their vaccination status, and manage their population. This technological approach was intended to support the city’s goal of eliminating rabies by 2030. The microchips, to be implanted around the dogs’ necks, would have allowed personnel to access detailed information. All information about the dogs using mobile apps, including age, sex, colour, vaccination status, and sterilization details can be collected. Additionally, this technology was expected to assist in mapping the stray population within the city limits. It also helps conduct a stray census in the newly merged 34 villages.

According to a stray dog census conducted by the PMC in May 2023, the stray canine population has decreased by 42.87% over the last five years. There has been a decline from 315,000 in 2018 to 179,940 in 2023. Despite this decline, the city recorded 2,839 dog bite cases in May alone. This resulted in significant concern among residents. Between January and May 2024, there were 10,786 reported cases, compared to 20,943 cases in 2023. Only 85,000 out of the estimated 1.8 lakh strays were sterilized last year, raising public fears about the insufficient measures taken by the PMC to address the issue.

The Veterinary Superintendent of PMC has expressed disappointment over the rejection of the microchipping proposal. “In a meeting held recently, the proposal of the microchip installation on strays was rejected by the PMC commissioner. The use of microchips in the stray population has been done in cities like Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Goa, where the technology is doing wonders. We are also in discussion with the firm to develop an app that will notify us about rabies booster administration. It was a well-thought-out idea. The technology would have helped us immunize stray dogs for rabies boosters, but now that the proposal has been rejected, we will look for alternatives”.

With the microchipping plan off the table, the PMC is now considering other alternatives to manage the stray dog population and prevent rabies outbreaks.