Dog vaccine

Shortage of vaccines and overworked veterinarians hamper rabies vaccination program

Kottayam/Kozhikode: The Kerala government’s attempt to deal with the threat posed by stray dogs has been hampered by a shortage of rabies vaccines and a lack of sufficient numbers of veterinarians.

The state has urgently initiated Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Mass Dog Vaccination (MDV) programs in the wake of the serious threat posed by street dogs. But these initiatives may not achieve the desired goals because veterinarians are at an impasse with the authorities over an excessive workload. Added to this is a serious shortage of rabies vaccines.

Only the anti-rabies vaccination of pet dogs is currently progressing. The authorities would not be able to complete the journey before September 30, as previously decided, given the current pace of the project. One of the main reasons for this delay is the transfer of responsibility from the local self-government department to the livestock department.

There are differences of opinion within the latter department regarding the appointment of veterinarians as implementers of the two programmes. Veterinarians are complaining that they cannot handle the excessive workload as they reel from an acute shortage of staff needed to help them with their duties.

No decision yet on the training center

Meanwhile, the government has yet to act on a proposal submitted by Kozhikode Municipality for the establishment of a state-level center to train staff in stray dog ​​capture and sterilization activities. related. The proposal, which can save the high cost of sending employees to Ootty and Goa for training, was submitted in November 2020, but the relevant department is yet to adopt the same.

The Corporation’s board wanted to turn the Animal Birth Control Center into a training facility, citing it as a successful model. The objective was to train veterinary graduates, dog hunters, heads of local self-government bodies and people’s representatives.

The proposal clearly indicated that the project would not entail high costs since the infrastructure and other facilities are already in place. But the government did not act on the same.

Local authorities find it difficult to implement the programs entrusted to them, given the lack of civil servants and trained employees.

District panchayats and other local institutions even advertised to appoint dog hunters and veterinary doctors on a contract basis. Meanwhile, the public remains vulnerable to the threat of stray animals.