Representational Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Kollam: To eliminate rabies from the state, an action plan has been initiated by the Department of Animal Protection and an organisation called 'Mission Rabies', known for successfully implementing street dog control in Asia and Africa.
According to the Animal Welfare Department, there are approximately four lakh stray dogs in the state. These dogs will be sterilised in multiple stages, and additional sterilisation centres will be established for this purpose. The Local Self-Government Department and the Animal Welfare Department will collaborate to control the population of stray dogs. Mission Rabies will also conduct training and awareness programs to educate the public.
Mission Rabies started its operations in Goa in 2014. Under the leadership of the organisation, continuous vaccination drives were carried out for stray dogs to prevent rabies. They also conducted awareness campaigns for school children and the general public. Posters were created and displayed in public areas, informing people about the situations that might provoke dogs and how to respond in case of a dog bite. A system was established to relocate aggressive dogs, and hotlines were introduced for emergency situations.
Mission Rabies was successfully able to prevent rabies deaths and zoonotic diseases. As a result, local institutions in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ranchi, Nilgiris, Karwar, and Sindhudurg also sought the assistance of Mission Rabies.
Minister J. Chinchurani said that a letter will be sent to the central government to address certain hindrances, including strict restrictions on the qualifications and experience of doctors involved in the control of stray dogs. The sterilisation process will continue to be carried out by experienced doctors. However, the letter will request the relaxation of stringent regulations.