THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: City residents who raised a clamour over stray dog menace are now turning their back on an ambitious plan by the Corporation that aims to prevent rabies.
Corporation’s pet licencing programme which was started on June 22 is getting a lukewarm response and till Monday only 98 persons have secured licenses for their animals. This has forced the Corporation to plan massive awareness campaigns.
“We plan to conduct seminars and other awareness programmes in association with the residents’ associations. Media campaigns include FM radio jingles,” said Dr Prem Jain, senior surgeon, Veterinary Hospital, Pettah.“Licencing was introduced as part of the rabies control measures. Data on pet dogs will help us to ensure that the animals are given anti-rabies vaccination in time,” he said.
Corporation charges Rs 100 for pet dogs and Rs 500 for animals used for breeding.
As per the Corporation’s estimate only one third of the pet dog owners give proper vaccination to their animals. This is attributed as a major reason for the spread of rabies.
Presenting a rough estimate, the Corporation says the city has about 12,000 stray dogs and around 25,500 pet dogs. The civic body has started a survey to identify the exact number of animals. The survey, which started the previous month, has covered 12 wards until now.
After June next year, notice will be sent to dog owners who fail to take licenses. “The notice will give a timeframe within which the license should be taken. If they do not comply, penal action will be taken,” Prem Jain said.
Meanwhile, the civic body’s plan to start a rabies control centre for stray dogs has hit a road block. The centre was planned at the Corporation’s 50-cent land at Thiruvallam where a shed was already built.
The Corporation request to the Sport Directorate for two prefabricated houses from the Games Village at Menamkulam is yet to be sanctioned. The plan is to use the houses as operation theatre for sterilisation activities.
At present, sterilisation is performed at the Corporation’s veterinary hospital at Pettah. The hospital has limited facility with two operation tables where an average 10 animals can be sterilised per day. The Thiruvallam centre will have four tables where about 25 animals can be sterilised.
Get your dog micro-chipped
Pet dog owners can take license from any of the 15 veterinary hospitals under the Corporation and 15 empanelled private veterinarians. Cost of a license is Rs 100 for pet dogs and Rs 500 for breeder dogs. The owner needs to fill up a data sheet in which the details of animal and owner have to be given. While giving license, a microchip will be implanted on the animal along with a primary dose of anti-rabies vaccination.
The animal has to be taken to the hospital 21 days later to administer the booster dose of vaccination. For the animals which were given vaccination recently, only the booster dose needs to be given. But owners should produce proof for giving the primary dose.The micro chip implanted in the dog’s neck will have the license details of dog with its picture, owner’s name, last vaccination date etc. The data will be stored in a central database maintained by corporation.Micro-chipping is also done for stray dogs. As on Monday, about 75 strays were implanted with micro chips at the veterinary hospital, Pettah. The microchip has a 15-digit unique identification number for the animal. This is as per an international protocol and the number will be unique to the animal.
Target June 2018
Corporation plans to implant microchips on all pet dogs and stray dogs by June 2018. But the civic body does not want people to delay the process. Early compliance to the system by all residents will help to eradicate the rabies menace at the earliest.
A rough estimate by the corporation has revealed that the city has around 25,500 stray dogs and about 12,000 pet dogs. Pet dog owners who fail to take license before June 2018 will be sent notice afterwards. If they fail to take license in the timeframe mentioned in the notice, penal action will be taken.Corporation is taking steps on a war footing basis to microchip stray dogs in the city. 75 dogs were implanted with chips until Monday. The opening of the surgery unit at Thiruvallam will help to speed up the process.