BENGALURU: The BBMP will launch the delayed mass rabies vaccination drive from mid-March and even bring in dog-catchers from other states to achieve 100 per cent vaccination. BBMP Animal Husbandry Department, Joint Director Dr S Shashikumar said according to the city’s stray dog census there are 3.09 lakh stray dogs. “We want to ensure that 100 per cent vaccination. We are aiming to vaccinate 1,000 dogs a month. We are holding talks with NGO’s in Maharasthra, Tirupati and Hyderabad who will bring in dog catchers.” The department has also decided to increase the number of dog catchers to a minimum of 100 for each of the eight zones.
In 2017-2018 around 63,590 dogs were administered the anti rabies vaccination (ARV) and 1,16,216 in 2018-2019. In 2019-2020 (January), the numbers are 64,853. Numbers show not all dogs in the city have been vaccinated.Dr Shashikumar said one of the problems was the lack of participation from NGO’s to administer the animal birth control (ABC) programme and ARV.
Animal lovers welcomed the move. “If dog catchers are brought, they need to be efficient ones trained by the World Veterinary Sciences,” said Harini Raghavan, Founder of Citizens for Animal Birth Control ProgrammeHe added, “Earlier, there were complaints that dog catchers do not handle the animals properly. Now we are ensuring it does not happen. .”