Sterilisation programme to begin after vaccination

The City Corporation’s Mission Anti-Rabies programme is set to do a salvage act with the redeployment of the dog squad’s lone vehicle, expected next week. The vehicle had fallen dysfunctional barely four days after the programme was launched.

For four days in April, in spite of constraints of staff shortage, the dog catcher and the Corporation veterinarian managed to initiate the scheme by vaccinating 117 dogs in the limited span of time.

This one goods carrier autorickshaw was barely sufficient in the first place and a request had gone from the Corporation for one more vehicle for the veterinary staff of the civic body’s health wing. “We have not yet heard from the Local Self-Government Department and the only thing we can ensure is that the vehicle is fixed immediately to carry on the vaccination,” said Health standing committee chairperson S. Pushpalatha. Ms. Pushpalatha will meet Corporation vet A.S. Bijulal and the health officer on Tuesday to chart out plans for the upcoming week regarding this project.

The few blue-collared dogs seen on the streets are those marked to have completed the first stage of the programme — intended to eradicate rabies. The next stage is to sterilise the vaccinated dogs. “To carry out the vaccination is not much of a problem in terms of medical procedure. I was able to manage on my own. We wanted to at least complete the first phase so that by the time we are ready to launch the Animal Birth Control or sterilisation programme, more doctors would have been appointed for the Corporation,” said Dr. Bijulal.

Sterilisation involves surgery and there are post-operation procedures that need to be followed. One doctor is inadequate for this purpose. The vet said he had consulted the Animal Husbandry Department, but apart from few assurances that more medical staff would be arranged, nothing has come through yet.

The shortage of a vehicle for a department responsible for slaughterhouse-related issues and capturing or treating animals is a huge drawback. For instance, on Sunday morning, the vet received a frantic call from the councillor of Thiruvallam ward, regarding a monkey running amok and attacking the local people. But when he contacted the Corporation garage for a vehicle to take him and another staffer to tranquilise and capture the animal; he was told he would have to wait till the next morning.