Ahmedabad Sets Ambitious Goal To Become Rabies-Free City By 2030

Ahmedabad Sets Ambitious Goal To Become Rabies-Free City By 2030

Residents keeping pet dogs will be required to obtain a compulsory license, with fees ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 1000.

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 08:17 PM IST
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Ahmedabad Sets Ambitious Goal To Become Rabies-Free City By 2030 | FP Photo

Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has unveiled a comprehensive plan to eradicate rabies from the city by 2030. This ambitious initiative, titled "Rabies Free Ahmedabad by 2030," aims to significantly reduce dog bite incidents and ensure public safety.

Strict Guidelines for Dog Ownership

A central component of the plan involves establishing a licensing system for dog ownership. Residents keeping pet dogs will be required to obtain a compulsory license, with fees ranging between Rs.500 and Rs.1000. The AMC is currently developing a set of guidelines that will apply to both stray and pet dog populations.

Vaccinating Stray Dogs and Implementing RFID Tracking

The plan prioritizes the mass vaccination of stray dogs against rabies. However, acknowledging the one-year efficacy of the vaccine, the AMC emphasizes the need for annual revaccination to achieve sustained immunity. To facilitate this process and track stray dog populations, the corporation will invest Rs.1.8 crore in RFID chipping – a technology similar to that used for stray cow management.

Online Pet Dog Registration and Monitoring

The AMC is exploring the possibility of online registration for pet dogs. This system would require owners to upload vaccination certificates and photographs of the designated dog-keeping area. Following online registration, the Municipal Corporation's CNCD department will conduct on-site inspections to verify compliance.

Addressing Public Concerns and Promoting Responsible Ownership

The initiative comes in response to a rising number of dog bite complaints in the city. Data reveals a concerning trend: 4158 complaints were registered in 2021-22, followed by 8509 in 2022-23, and a staggering 11,676 in 2023-24.

The plan emphasizes responsible dog ownership. Owners will be held accountable for ensuring their pets do not disturb neighbors. Additionally, the AMC is considering implementing a system where owners must report giving away puppies to the municipality. Furthermore, discussions are underway regarding the installation of barcodes outside dog owners' residences. These barcodes would contain essential information about the dog and its owner, promoting transparency and accountability.

The "Rabies Free Ahmedabad by 2030" plan extends beyond vaccination and licensing. The AMC intends to conduct research on dog bite cases, analyzing factors like the bite location and seasonal variations in dog behavior. This data will be crucial for developing targeted interventions. Additionally, the corporation plans to implement Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities to raise public awareness about rabies prevention and responsible dog ownership.

The initiative will be overseen by a dedicated monitoring committee chaired by the Municipal Commissioner. The committee will comprise 13 members, including two Vice-Chairmen, two Member Secretaries, and a nine-member monitoring sub-committee. Regular monthly reviews will ensure the plan stays on track and adapts to emerging challenges.

Ahmedabad's ambitious plan to eradicate rabies by 2030 demonstrates a commitment to public health and safety. The initiative's success hinges on effective implementation, responsible dog ownership, and ongoing community engagement.

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