Human dog-bite injuries are a major public health problem, particularly where there are large populations of free-roaming or street dogs. Dog bites are also the major source of human rabies infections. There is little information on the means to reduce these injuries. Monthly human animal-bite injury records from January 2003 to June 2011 were obtained from the main government hospital in Jaipur, India. The data were analysed and compared with records of pregnancy in street dogs in Jaipur obtained from a street dog sterilisation programme. Human animal-bite injuries showed a seasonal pattern which followed by approximately 10 weeks the seasonal peak of street dog breeding. The number of human animal bites has declined significantly since 2003. It is concluded that a street dog sterilisation programme can reduce human dog-bite injuries by reducing the maternal protective behaviour of the street dogs, as well as reducing the total size of the roaming dog population.
Keywords: Disease control; Dogs; Human-animal interactions; Public health; Rabies; Vector-borne diseases.