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Operations are being conducted in all zones in makeshift theatres: Chief Veterinary Officer
“We have sufficient staff, vehicles and dog catching squads in all the 18 circles”
HYDERABAD: GHMC has roped in 30 veterinary doctors on a contract basis to pep up its Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme of vaccinating and sterilising stray dogs to increase the monthly operations to about 15,000 from 10,000.
These vets are in addition to the 13 veterinary doctors of the municipal corporation and once the modern sterilisation centre nearing completion at Amberpet get operationalised, daily operations could be upped to 500 from the present 300-odd, said Chief Veterinary Officer P. Venkateswara Reddy.
In the meantime, operations are being conducted in all zones in make shift theatres.
“We have sufficient staff, vehicles and dog catching squads in all the 18 circles. We can respond to any complaint in half hour,” claimed Dr. Reddy. Vets on contract are paid Rs.100 per operation.
Voluntary organisation, Blue Cross, also does more than 100 operations a day with the strays supplied by the civic body and half the price tab of about Rs.445 a dog picked up by the Animal Welfare Board (AWB). However, Dr. Reddy stated that ABC programme cannot put an end to dog bites totally, said to be around 49,000 as recorded by the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) last year.
“We can control fatalities through ABC and providing prompt medical attention to the wounded through the free anti-rabies vaccine available at IPM.
The institute can easily treat 300 patients in a day while we can vaccinate the affected dogs,” he explained. Thus, far 1.7 lakh dogs were sterilised and vaccinated since ABC began in 2007 putting a stop to culling.
The CVO said that dog bite incidents have been controlled to a large extent in the core city but cases were more in the suburbs as the erstwhile municipalities had no dog squads or ABC.
With GHMC formation, the programme has been spread though dogs continue to ‘stray' from neighbouring districts and the Secunderabad Cantonment which has no such programme.
Dr. Reddy observed that unless ABC was taken to smaller towns and even gram panchayats, dog bites and resultant fatalities cannot be effectively controlled as many trooped into the city along with migrant labour.
Colony welfare associations too could chip in by “adopting” local dogs, providing food and ensure garbage was not strewn.
“They guard the area better than private security guards!” he averred.
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