Zetro, a Mercedes truck model used by the UK Army, was seen going around the city over the last fortnight. However, the mission was of a different kind.

Part of Mission Rabies, a programme initiated to deal with rabies and its effective control in India, the truck acts as a mobile veterinary hospital that is fully equipped with a digital X-Ray machine, operation theatre, microscopes, ultrasound machine and dental kits.

Started with a mission to administer vaccination to 60,000 dogs in 12 rabies hotspots in the country, the truck has had pitstops in Goa, Erode, Tirupur, Madurai, and now Chennai.

“The truck was in Chennai from March 1 to 16 and has acted not only as a mobile veterinary hospital, but also a training centre. We have been conducting training for five vets from the Blue Cross and one from the SPCA,” said Antony Rubin, Logistics Manager of Mission Rabies.

The truck, which is owned by Worldwide Veterinary Services, a UK-based animal welfare organisation, was donated to the country to handle the rabies menace.

Over the two weeks that the truck was in the city, a rabid cat and one rabid dog were found. “It is important to confirm that the dog or cat is rabid, in order to have a record of the number of cases. This is why we conduct a post-mortem and send the samples to TANUVAS to confirm if the animal was infected or not,” said Mr. Rubin. He said that Mission Rabies worked with Blue Cross for initiatives in the city, and also donated vaccines and equipment to the organisation.

The truck is now on its way to Goa.

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