Around 300 dogs were vaccinated in Mettupalayam on World Rabies Day (September 28) by Worldwide Veterinary Service India (WVS India) and India Project for Animals and Nature (IPAN).
A team of veterinary doctors and trained animal handlers from WVS and IPAN headed by Nigel Otter, Chairman of WVS India, vaccinated the animals and conducted an awareness campaign. “It was a coordinated effort to let people know that rabies could be prevented through vaccination, spay/neuter programmes and increased awareness on proper wound management ”, Mr. Otter said.
The campaign was a part of Humane Animal Handling Training programme to train veterinary assistants and animal handlers like municipality dog catchers in effective and safe handling of dogs using the ‘Butterfly Net' method. The dogs were caught by animal handlers with ‘Humane Animal Handling' certificates recognised by Animal Welfare Board of India.
Dr. Anand Shankar, Resident Veterinarian of International Training Center (ITC) run by WVS India, urged the animal owners to vaccinate their dogs and cats every year.
The veterinarians in India had a very important role to play in the field of sustainable rabies control, said Dr. Ilona Otter, Clinical Director of WVS ITC.
According to reports from Pasteur Institute of India, Coonoor, no rabies cases had been reported in Nilgiris district since 2005. This has been attributed to the vaccination and dog sterilisation programmes implemented by IPAN from 2002. According to the organisers, the campaign was an attempt to achieve the same in Mettupalayam. The first anniversary celebration of ITC, an institute that provided hands-on training to veterinarians and veterinary assistants in humane dog population control and rabies prevention, coincided with the fifth World Rabies Day.