Tiruchirapalli

Animal ambulance service in limbo in Tiruchi

Animal Medical Mobile Ambulance Service was launched at a cost ₹7 crore with 10 vehicles, two each for Tiruchi, Madurai, Kancheepuram, Namakkal and Thanjavur.

Animal Medical Mobile Ambulance Service was launched at a cost ₹7 crore with 10 vehicles, two each for Tiruchi, Madurai, Kancheepuram, Namakkal and Thanjavur.   | Photo Credit: G_GNANAVELMURUGAN

TANUVAS says project to be handed over to Animal Husbandry department.

The Animal Medical Mobile Ambulance (AMMA) service, introduced in the district nearly two years ago remains suspended for the past few months.

The AMMA ambulance project was launched at a cost ₹7 crore with 10 vehicles, two each for Tiruchi, Madurai, Kancheepuram, Namakkal and Thanjavur. The vehicles were stationed at the borders of the districts so that local residents and neighbouring districts could be accessed. A call-centre with the number 1962 was set up on the TANUVAS campus in Chennai through which the calls were directed to the ambulances, which also had a full-time veterinarian.

The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), the nodal agency says the project is to be handed over to the Department of Animal Husbandry.

AMMA service was introduced to treat animals, especially livestock, at the doorstep.

The vehicles are equipped with oxygen cylinders, IV fluids and all emergency surgical equipment and medicines required for veterinary care. “However, after nearly two years, TANUVAS' period of operation ended. The plan is now to transfer it to the Animal Husbandry department,” said, an official at the Veterinary University Training and Research Centre, Tiruchi.

The Animal Husbandry department has reportedly procured 22 ambulances, in addition to the 10 ambulances already available with TANUVAS.

The project is being funded by the National Agriculture Development Programme and the estimated cost of each vehicle is ₹10.88 lakh.

“The plan was to launch it on October 15, however, it has been delayed. An announcement will soon be made,” the professor said.

Animals which require treatment are now being taken to clinics directly, says G. Ramakrishnan, District Welfare Officer, Animal Welfare Board of India.

“The ambulance was helping mostly farmers's livestock and pet owners, who already have access to healthcare in terms of veterinary hospitals and clinics. The AMMA ambulance did not attend to animals caught in a road accident or strays. Those are still ignored. The newly proposed service has to extend help to these animals as well,” he said.

Officials of the Department of Animal Husbandry in Tiruchi, however, say they had not received any such information. “To my knowledge, the AMMA ambulance is still under the control of TANUVAS. The Animal Husbandry department was not involved in the scheme. If there is a transfer, we have not been informed yet,” said Esther Sheela, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 8:35:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/animal-ambulance-service-in-limbo/article29728402.ece

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