Dogged by Trouble

The Ministry of Health says the risk of rabies has increased because of the large number of displaced dogs in tsunami-affected areas. The Ministry of Health says the risk of rabies has increased because of the large number of displaced dogs in tsunami-affected areas. “There are no confirmed cases of rabies but the risk has of course increased because of the increase in free roaming dogs,” said the Director of Public Health, Veterinary Services,Ministry of Health P A L Harishchandra.

“There have been no reports of any kind of diseases being transferred to humans from animals, in tsunami damaged areas or camps, so far,” he said.

Sri Lanka has an estimated dog population of 2.5 million, based on an international standard of one dog for every eight people.

But at least half of the local dog population are strays.

The island coastal regions are believed to have been home to around 250,000 dogs – both stray and domestic – and a majority outran the tsunami.

Now, dogs that previously had owners and homes in the coast, are homeless, hungry and in many cases wounded.

“There has not been a proper