Remaking zoöpolis: an appreciation

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Over the last eighteen months or so, I’ve been collaborating with Dr Krithika Srinivasan at the University of Edinburgh and her Remaking Zoöpolis team on a project on street dogs and health in India from the nineteenth century to the present day. From colonial-era British interventions in street dog management to contemporary attitudes towards street dogs in India, we’ve been exploring the possibilities of decolonizing street dogs and attempts to manage them (please see our 2019 Palgrave Communications article “Reorienting rabies research and practice: Lessons from India,”  which you can read here).

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Photo credit: Abilash Subramanian

I’m delighted to be able to host the preliminary findings of the Remaking Zoöpolis report (RZ prelim report) on Sniffing the Past. The research has also been warmly welcomed by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) who have carefully considered how the research could be used to minimize human-dog conflict in India (Appendix C FIAPO letter_implications). FIAPO has stated that the “research has the potential to form the basis of behavioural interventions among the general public, dog caregivers, organisations and government bodies to ensure positive coexistence between people and dogs.”

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Syed Shahid Abbas and Manish Kakkar have identified a disconnect between rabies research and practice in India. Hopefully Remaking Zoöpolis and related-future research can knit together research and practice, as well as questioning the management and meaning of street dogs in India.

“Remaking zoopolis: Human-street dog cohabitation & rabies prevention in India” was funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project team comprised Krithika Srinivasan, Tim Kurz, and Pradeep Kuttuva.