Mumbai Stray Dog Vaccination Drive: 25,000 Inoculated Since September 2023; 70% Targeted By March 2024

Mumbai Stray Dog Vaccination Drive: 25,000 Inoculated Since September 2023; 70% Targeted By March 2024

This initiative aims to mitigate the spread of rabies, a fatal viral disease that poses significant risks to both human and animal populations.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Saturday, February 17, 2024, 08:35 PM IST
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Mumbai Stray Dog Vaccination Drive: 25K Inoculated Since September 2023, 70% Targeted By March 2024 | Pixabay

Under the aegis of the 'Mumbai Rabies Elimination Project' and in an effort to safeguard public health and promote animal welfare, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's Veterinary Health Department has initiated a comprehensive mass anti-rabies vaccination campaign targeting stray dogs, with the help of Animal Welfare Organizations viz. Janice Smith Animal Welfare Trust, Youth Organization in Defense of Animals, Universal Animal Welfare Society, and Utkarsh Global Foundation.

The Municipal Commissioner Dr. Iqbal Singh Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner (City) Dr. (Mrs.) Ashwini Joshi, is overseeing various animal welfare activities run by BMC. Providing detailed information on these initiatives, the General Manager of the Veterinary Department and Deonar Abattoir Dr. Kalimpasha Pathan stated that, this initiative aims to mitigate the spread of rabies, a fatal viral disease that poses significant risks to both human and animal populations.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a preventable viral disease transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, primarily through bites. Stray dogs, often vulnerable to the disease due to lack of proper care and vaccination, represent a significant reservoir for rabies transmission in urban areas.

According to the 2014 census, the number of stray dogs in the Mumbai metropolis is approximately 95 thousand. Since September 2023, around 25 thousand stray dogs have been vaccinated. As a result, by the end of March 2024, approximately 70 percent of the dogs will be vaccinated.

The mass vaccination campaign

The mass vaccination campaign is being conducted by a team of trained professionals equipped with safe and effective rabies vaccines. Vaccination teams will strategically move across the city to ensure accessibility and coverage of stray dog populations in various neighbourhoods.

The mass anti-rabies vaccination campaign in Mumbai deploys trained professionals equipped with safe and effective vaccines, strategically navigating various neighborhoods to ensure comprehensive coverage. This initiative aims to achieve multiple objectives, including preventing human rabies deaths by breaking the transmission cycle of rabies and reducing the risk of transmission through dog bites.

Additionally, the campaign protects animal welfare by providing essential healthcare to stray dogs, beyond mitigating the suffering caused by rabies. Furthermore, by lowering the prevalence of rabies among stray dog populations, the campaign enhances community safety, particularly benefiting vulnerable groups such as children who are more susceptible to dog bites.

BMC urges residents to support this crucial public health initiative by ensuring their pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccination, reporting any stray dogs to designated authorities for vaccination, and cooperating with the organizations involved in the vaccination drive. Together, the community can build a safer and healthier environment for both humans and animals alike.

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