Yes, Tigers Are Dying, But Killing Stray Dogs Won’t Help

We humans are doing a pretty good job at getting rid of tigers, one of the most majestic and feared predators of all time; it is estimated that there are 3,200 wild tigers left. Not only do these amazing animals have to worry about habitat loss, poaching, retaliatory killings and hunting as sport, those who are in captivity, have to worry about their mental well-being.

Yet, it might not be all of our fault. As reported in the Huffington Post, India is “scrambling” to save tigers who are dying from something other than us.

Whats Killing the Tigers?

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). The tiger is literally as sick as a (stray) dog. While CDV is fairly common in domestic dogs, it can be lethal to wildlife. As more people  – and India has 1.2 billion people — move into tiger territory, they also bring man’s best friend; people and dogs are coming in larger and more frequent waves.

In India, many tigers have tested positive for CDV, a virus that has claimed the lives of at least four big cats in the early part of 2014. Four endangered animals is four too many.

While CDV does have physical side effects, like seizures, the most threatening is behavioral. 21st Century Tiger added the video below to their informational section of tigers and CDV. As the clip shows, tigers with CDV lose their fear of humans and become easy prey for hunters, poachers and villagers looking for revenge.

How Is India Handling CDV?

To start, India is testing every dead tiger for CDV. While a nationwide campaign to vaccinate every dog in India against CDV would be ideal, it is not realistic. India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority explained that even vaccinating half of all dogs would be a huge help.

While setting up a quarantined space could help, India’s high population numbers and lack of space make it almost impossible. Another option could be to vaccinate cattle against another virus similar to CDV: rinderpest. The hope is that the new wave of antibodies could aid the tigers’ defenses. Researchers could also look for antibodies that are already part of a tiger’s natural defenses.

Whatever course tiger conservationists take, it’s going to require a lot of funding, time and government support. So far, a CDV tiger epidemic doesn’t seem to be a huge priority for the Indian government. Some experts believe that it’s already too late. Tigers that tested positive for CDV weren’t in the same geographic regions or in an area close to dogs, so CDV could already be spreading and fast.

Its Not Just Tigers

While the focus of this piece has been tigers, CDV can harm all types of wildlife from small raccoons to big cat predators. It is a significant virus that should not be taken lightly. As reported in the Huffington Post, the black-footed ferret came close to extinction in the U.S. because of CDV, and CDV killed one-third of the Serengeti National Park’s African lions.

Giving Dogs a Bad Name

CDV is giving dogs a bad name. While few would consider harming dog pets, stray and feral dogs don’t have the same protections and they are vulnerable. Plus, they are already perceived as a “menace” inside and outside of cities. If the tigers are in trouble and the dogs are to blame, then some believe that it’s time to eradicate the stray dog problem.

As recently reported in the Hindustan Times, stray dogs are a menace to India’s wildlife. One expert believes that strays should be sterilized in the cities and that “elimination programmes [sic]” should be used in wilder areas because the dogs are more feral.

Yes, the tigers and wildlife are in trouble. But is killing stray and feral dogs going to stop the spread of CDV? Probably not. If the strays are to blame, then humans are even more to blame. By not practicing proper spay and neuter programs, the stray and feral dog populations grew. Dogs aren’t a menace to society or wildlife, they are another unfortunate victim of circumstance; both tigers and dogs need our help.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Jana DiCarlo
Jana DiCarlo2 years ago


S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

4. Since, the Dog Show is a private event, the salary and TA/DA of Govt. vets (as fixed by the CVO) shall be borne by the organizers and it should be deposited to CVO in advance, prior to permission from the CVO.

5. All the clubs must be registered under the Societies Registration Act of State.

6. The dog show venue must be beyond 50 Km from any Zoo or wildlife habitat.

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

this affects our economic growth and lives of our local pets and critically endangered wildlife badly affecting environmental balance.


Since, it is not very easy to break the operation of this nexus, on the basis of Judgement Order of Honorable High Court of Allahabad (PIL 61400/2013 dated 11 Nov 2013), some measures can be adopted, so as to save lives of our local pets and endangered wildlife from fatal communicable diseases. These are as follows:

1. Mandatory requirement of submitting photocopies of the following documents of all the participant dogs (in triplicate) one month before the dog show which shall be served to CVO, Zoo officials and Nagar Nigam authorities, who shall keep a record of these in their office.

i- Vaccination Certificate containing records of complete primary vaccinations and regular yearly boosters, which has been issued by a qualified veterinary surgeon.
ii- Municipal Dog License of the native town
iii- Quarantine papers (if the dog is imported one)

2. One day before the dog show, all the dogs shall be screened for communicable fatal canine distemper, parvo virus and corona virus infections by commercial kits. The cost of kits shall be borne by the organizers.

3. Physical examination and verification of original documents on the day of dog show shall be carried out by Government vets.

4. Since, the Dog Show is a private event, the salary and TA/DA of Govt. vets (as fixed by the CVO) shall be

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

The purpose of all these dog imports is only for profit purpose. When some 'Big Man' imports a new dog, which is costlier than the previous imports, it attracts the 'black-money' holding dog lovers. They rush to this man for mating of their good-looking bitches with this new import. They pay a handsome amount which may go to several lakhs in form of 'Stud Fees' which we can say a sort of dowry. The whole payment is done in cash form as black money is involved in this game. No receipt is given or demanded. Once the bitch is mated with this new import, price of puppies of this bitch goes to very high figures which may again go to lakhs. The new players of this doggy game rush to buy these puppies, get it transferred in their names, purchase IKG, participate in dog shows, pay local clubs, win prizes and become famous as a new generation in dog game. this is the actual vicious cycle of this game.

Frankly speaking in this doggy game there is no any increase in country's GDP, nor we are getting any Olympic Gold Medal. People import dogs utilizing their black money. Once a dog comes into India, new diseases and new strains of viruses also get entry into our country as strict quarantine measures are not adopted in our country. Our local pets fall sick and we rush for newer vaccines. Now we start importing costly vaccines from other countries, our foreign currency reserve gets utilized, our gold reserve is utilized and ultimately this affects our economic growth and lives of our l

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

KCI also claims that it promotes research into canine diseases and canine care and welfare. Actually these claims are not at all true. KCI people have never done any PhD in any canine disease. Likewise, the claim for scientific breeding for ensuring robust and healthy dogs free from congenital diseases is also misguiding.
We all know that KCI recognizes only purebred (pedigreed) dogs. Now we must know what are these 'purebred' dogs and how are they created? These purebred dogs are created through 'inbreeding', keeping into consideration some absurd phenotypic traits like 'bulged eyes', 'wrinkled face', 'long drooling ears', 'arched fore limbs', 'miniature size' etc., which once upon a time had appealed to any Maharaja or some great philosopher of canine world. There is no scientific basis of breed creation, which can really be said beneficial to mankind like disease resistance, more intelligence, more stamina etc. The result of drastic inbreeding among particular group of dogs increases the possibility of homozygosity of deleterious recessive alleles in a inbred population resulting in inbreeding depression. The net result is that these purebred dogs are genetically weak. They lack hybrid vigor and are vulnerable to various communicable diseases, and thus serve as source of infection to other indigenous local dogs and endangered wildlife.

The next question arises, why these dogs are imported every year, when these breeds already exist in India. The purpose of all these

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

A 'Litter Inspection' certificate is prepared accordingly by the local club secretary for the requisite number of puppies and for this a handsome amount in form of cash or kind is obtained by him. Moreover, one sure shot 'Vote' becomes assured for this club secretary in next club election for his kindness and obligation to this new dog breeder. KCI is also not much worried about this, because the more the number of puppies are registered, the more is the registration fees, the more transfer fees, the more sale of microchips and the more is the number of IKG subscribers.

Apart from this, KCI earns a lot of money from local clubs by way of Club Maintenance Fees, Dog Show Fees and a fixed percentage in form of commission from the amount the local clubs earn by making new life members. KCI also charges very heavy amounts for Kennel Registration, use of 'Prefix' and 'Suffix' with the name of puppies and for the advertisements of dogs and Kennels in the IKG. Since, these matters are very high level issues, the writer does not want to poke his nose into it.


The real fact about the dog game is that the whole syndicate is running purely for commercial profits only. The main cards are in hands of some big guys of aristocratic class who belong to corporate world. KCI, which claims that its one of the objects is promotion of scientific breeding of dogs to ensure that robust and healthy dogs without congenital defects are produced. KCI also claims that

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

This new member now applies for fresh registration of his dog to KCI, he fills the form and sends it to KCI along with the Opinion Certificate and the requisite fees. This time he has to pay for Registration fees, Microchip charges and IKG subscription for at least one year. It means he has to pay approximately 1000 bucks to KCI.

Now, if this new puppy is a female one, on attaining maturity at age of 1 to 1.5 years the new owner breeds it. A litter is born 60 days after the mating with a dog. Now the next step is 'Litter Inspection', which is also to be done by any gentleman of this syndicate. Mostly local club secretaries are authorized for this inspection. He has to certify that just after whelping he has seen all the live puppies and the number of live puppies he is certifying, can be registered with the KCI. Now again a foul play starts here. The puppies of pregnant bitch are mostly booked in advance. An advance money is deposited as booking money, which has generally been spent by most of the breeders. Now if the litter is too small, say only one or two puppies are born, and there is booking for 10 or 12 puppies, this new breeder asks the litter inspecting authority to solve the problem. This senior person now advises the breeder to arrange required number of substandard puppies of same breed from the market to honor the bookings he has with him. A 'Litter Inspection' certificate is prepared accordingly by the local club secretary for the requisite number of puppies

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

Income tax, Entertainment tax etc. are altogether evaded by these organizers.


In the whole nexus KCI's role is also very significant. Since, the whole game runs in surveillance of KCI, the KCI also earns huge profit in this game. Once a common man buys a puppy from a breeder, it may or may not be registered with the KCI. In case, the puppy is already registered, the papers are to be transferred in name of new owner, and for this KCI charges a 'Transfer Fee'. Apart from this, it is now mandatory for the new owner that he must be subscriber of 'Indian Kennel Gazette', an official monthly magazine published by the KCI, at least for one year and for this he has to pay Rs 300 more apart from transfer fee, otherwise papers of his puppy will not be transferred. Now if the puppy is not registered, the new owner will apply for fresh registration and for this he shall have to wait for until his puppy is six months old. Now this owner will go to some gentleman, who is part of this nexus, to get an 'Opinion Certificate', means this gentleman will certify that this puppy is an original one (which is not always true). At this moment this opinion certificate issuing person tells so many hi-fi stories about breeds, about the KCI and about the dog shows. Ultimately he becomes successful in trapping new dog lover into his nexus and he also becomes a life member of local club by paying a handsome amount. This new member now applies for fres

S.K. Paul
Dr S K Paul2 years ago

Now comes the role of organizers, why they are so keen to organize an All India Dog Show, not a Pet Show? The organizers earn lakhs of rupees in these dog shows. As per their Show Catalogue, on an average approximately 500-600 dogs participate in any All India Dog Show. Many 'Late Entries' are also entertained with heavy extra charges which are not mentioned in dog show catalogue. The normal Dog Entry Fees for a participant dog is approximately Rs 1000-2000 per class (event), per dog. On the show ground many stalls are erected which are given to dog item selling people and very heavy rents are charged from them. Canteen people, parking contractors and banners are charged very heavily. At many places general public are also charged for visiting a dog show. This year Mysore Kennel Club charged Rs 50 per person from public for attending the dog show held on 25 Aug 2013 at Dassara Exhibition Ground, Mysore, and the club officials handed over a car parking token of this value as gate entry ticket. One such receipt is lying with this script writer, who went there to do a string operation on that day. At the time of dog show the organizers publish a Dog Show Souvenir, which contains a Show Catalogue and many ads. Complementary ads are also charged very heavily. Many times, Pharmaceutical companies or Dog Food Manufacturers, sponsor the whole dog show or a part of it, like prizes etc. These are also source of income for the club. The most important thing is that no proper account is