Vet posted at Pettah hospital

It was in early September last year, that the sole veterinary surgeon employed by the city Corporation to carry out the Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Anti-Rabies programme was transferred, leaving the position at the Government Veterinary Hospital, Pettah, vacant ever since.

Consequently, the implementation of the sterilisation programme came to a complete standstill, but now it looks to be revived with the appointment of Biju Lal, a veterinarian who was stationed at the Corporation abattoir at Kunnukuzhy, as the nodal officer for the programme.

A chain of events led Dr. Biju Lal to submit a proposal to the Mayor, suggesting that he be posted as the surgeon qualified to carry out the programme. For one, the abattoir run by the Corporation had been shut by the Pollution Control Board. He was also prompted by statistics depicting an alarming rise in number of stray dog attacks over the past year. Thankfully, he says, Mayor K. Chandrika immediately authorised him to undertake the implementation of the project.

But there are still a few loose ends to be tied up before the sterilisation begins. “How is the dog squad expected to carry out its work on a two-wheeler? We do not have a vehicle, without which it does not matter how many vets are appointed,” said Dr. Biju. He has also discussed the matter with Satheesh Kumar, the dog-catcher, who was considering leaving the job as he is not able to do any work owing to the lack of vehicles.

Even the agreement between the organisation Animal Rescue Kerala at Kovalam and the civic body could not be upheld because there was no means of transport. The Mayor told Dr. Biju that for the time being, one of the vehicles used by Kudumbasree could be set aside for this purpose.

The civic body will begin with a rabies vaccination drive. The hospital at Pettah currently has the medication to treat 3,000 dogs and this first phase will be carried on a ward-level basis.

The Mayor also asked him to submit a written application requesting for additional staff. The hospital needs fulltime staff for pre-operation preparation and sanitation work,” said Dr. Biju. A senior health official with the Corporation said that letters had been sent since last year, asking the Animal Husbandry Department to appoint more veterinarians, on working arrangement, but they were yet to get a response.