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Anti-rabies vaccination drive launched in capital

35 stray dogs were caught and vaccinated from Ambalathara ward

September 26, 2022 12:17 am | Updated 12:17 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

The Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation's mass anti-rabies vaccination drive for stray dogs is expected to take more than 50 days, about double the number of days as per the initial plan, to cover all the 100 wards. The drive, which began on Sunday, will also create quite some burden on the civic body's finances, for daily payments to the temporary dog catchers, expenses on the vaccines and other related matters.

The vaccination drive began early at around 5 a.m on Sunday at the Ambalathara ward, to catch the dogs that are usually found sleeping at various street corners. In the close to four hours that the eight member team, along with the residents and the councillor, spent on Sunday morning, a total of 35 stray dogs were caught and vaccinated from the ward. The first day's experience pointed at the practical difficulties in implementing the drive on the ground with the existing team.

As per the initial plan, the drive was to be completed in all the hundred wards in 25 days using four separate squads. However, the Corporation has now decided to cut down the number of squads to two, as more people are required to catch a sufficient number of dogs in each location. Though this will reduce the number of wards covered each day, it is expected to ensure that the vaccination drive would be more effective, say Corporation officials.

The Corporation has an existing team of four dog catchers. Now, four more, who have been involved with the Kudumbashree's anti-rabies vaccination and sterilisation programme, have been appointed temporarily. As per the agreement, a temporary dog catcher would get ₹300 for each stray dog that is caught and vaccinated. In addition to the two veterinarians who are part of the Corporation's Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme, four more will be appointed. Their services will also be required for the renovated facility that is coming up at Thiruvallam.

In the first phase of the special vaccination drive held last week, the Corporation had vaccinated 1,490 pet dogs. Licenses were also issued to the owners of the vaccinated dogs. The vaccination of pet dogs would continue simultaneously at the veterinary hospitals during the normal working hours.

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