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Anti-rabies jab for Kolkata dogs from June

Residents keen about vaccinating or castrating a street dog in their neighbourhood have to contact their local councillor

Subhajoy Roy | Published 21.05.22, 07:31 AM
Heated arguments between dog lovers and others are common in many localities, as many fear dog bites could lead to rabies.

Heated arguments between dog lovers and others are common in many localities, as many fear dog bites could lead to rabies.

Representational picture

Kolkata Municipal Corporation will begin anti-rabies vaccination and neutering of street dogs from June, deputy mayor Atin Ghosh said on Friday.

A Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) official said a rough estimate prepared by the animal resources department mentioned there were about 90,000 street dogs in Kolkata. The target is to vaccinate all the dogs and sterilise the male dogs, he added.

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Heated arguments between dog lovers and others are common in many localities, as many fear dog bites could lead to rabies. The World Health Organization website mentions: “Once clinical symptoms appear, rabies is virtually 100% fatal. In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans.”

Ghosh and KMC officials said that if an overwhelming majority of street dogs could be vaccinated under the programme, the threat of people contracting rabies would reduce by a large extent.

“We will conduct three special drives in each ward. I will urge all Kolkatans to get in touch with their councillors if they know of a street dog that needs to be administered anti-rabies vaccine or sterilised,” Ghosh said.

He urged the ward councillors to meet the borough chairpersons and chalk out a plan for their boroughs.

Manas Som, nodal officer (public safety) of the KMC, said the civic body would do the vaccination and the castration free of cost. “We will castrate the male dogs under this programme,” he said.

The state animal resources development department will fund the programme.

Radhika Bose, a committee member of Ashari, an animal hospital, said the KMC should involve local dog-feeders in order to make the programme successful. Every neighbourhood has dog feeders who have accurate information about the dogs. “Vaccinating a dog will be easier if a local dog-feeder is around. Dogs trust them,” said Bose.

KMC officials admitted that the task to vaccinate the dogs and castrate the male dogs would be challenging.  The work could suffer because of the the monsoon, an official said. 

Last updated on 21.05.22, 07:31 AM
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