High-level meeting on Monday to tackle the threat of stray dogs

Minister says ABC centers will be opened in 152 local body blocks to reduce stray dog ​​population

Minister says ABC centers will be opened in 152 local body blocks to reduce stray dog ​​population

The spiral of stray dog ​​attacks and troubling questions about the effectiveness of the locally administered rabies vaccine forced the Kerala government to convene an urgent meeting of senior officials on Monday to devise measures to mitigate the alarming public threat.

The Minister for Local Self-Government, MB Rajesh, will chair the meeting. A 2001 law prohibits the killing of stray dogs. Reviving the stagnant Animal Birth Control (ABC) program and inoculating stray dogs to reduce the risk of rabies might be the limited options for the government.

In addition, the government seemed extremely concerned about animal rights. He also wants to prevent any vigilante action against stray animals by angry residents.

The disturbing deaths of four dog bite victims due to suspected vaccine failure are expected to be on the meeting’s agenda.

The victims had prompted the Health Ministry to withdraw at least one batch of rabies vaccine from circulation so far. It also prompted an internal audit of the effectiveness of storage and cold chain protocols protecting the potency of rabies vaccines. The meeting could also discuss the pros and cons of administering rabies prophylaxis to the vulnerable population, especially animal handlers.

Mr Rajesh told Kannur that a special campaign to tackle the threat of stray dogs was in the works. He did not reveal further details, but said the government would seek help from local agencies, voluntary organizations and animal rescue groups to help reduce the threat.

Mr Rajesh said the government would open ABC centers in 152 local body blocks to gradually reduce the stray dog ​​population. So far, the administration has equipped 30 such centers. The state has also proposed introducing a pet dog licensing system and preventing trash piling.

Growing public concern over the threat of stray dogs has become a major talking point in mainstream and social media.

child attacked

On Sunday at Attappady in Palakkad, stray dogs attacked a three-year-old tribal child in the face and limbs. Stray dogs attacked an elderly person in Kannur. Victims of stray dog ​​attacks seeking medical help in hospitals are said to be on the rise.

CCTV footage of packs of stray dogs cornering children on their way to school, chasing cyclists and two-wheelers, harassing walkers and joggers and ambushing pedestrians has flooded social media , spawning memes vilifying the government. Citizens have complained of stray dogs threatening people in public parks, bus stops, beaches, streets, school and college grounds, and major thoroughfares.

Opposition fees

Opposition leader VD Satheesan accused the government of being ill-equipped to address public concerns. Lack of funding and trained personnel had hampered the administration’s ABC program. Mr Satheesan also doubted the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine provided by the government and demanded an investigation.