Kerala set to launch month-long massive vaccination drive for stray dogs

 The move comes after a rapid increase in the number of dog-bites and resulting deaths despite anti-rabies vaccinations.

BySreerag PS

Published Sep 12, 2022 | 8:02 PMUpdatedSep 12, 2022 | 10:45 PM

Kerala set to launch month-long massive vaccination drive for stray dogs

Kerala is set to launch a massive vaccination drive for stray dogs, said MB Rajesh, the Minister for Local Self-Governments and Excise.

The government plans this one-month vaccination drive that intends to curb rabies in the state.

Dog bites have become a major crisis in Kerala as numerous people died bitten by the canines.

This Sunday alone, six people — including a BJP politician and a journalist — were bitten by stray dogs.

Since May this year, 22 people died due to dog bites in Kerala.

Government’s plan of action

Rajesh, briefing reporters on the plan of action to tackle the menace, said there was growing concern among people about the increasing number of dog bites and deaths in the state.

He stated that a massive month-long vaccination programme would be held in the state from 20 September to 20 October.

To achieve the desired goals, block panchayats, municipalities, and corporations would be given permission to lease a vehicle equipped for vaccination drives. 

“We will start the vaccination drive with the experienced people who are available now, but we would need more people who are skilled to do this task. So, we will be giving training to more people. Those volunteers who had joined the government’s Covid-19 task force would be enquired, and the interested ones will be co-opted,” said the minister.

He said the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University had offered help, addign that nine days would be required to train the individuals in dog vaccination techniques.

The government was also hoping that the intense vaccination drive would eradicate rabies from the state, like it had been in Goa.

The expert committee also recommended that the government provide oral vaccines to dogs as it would ease the process of vaccination in the state.

Supreme Court interim order soon

The Supreme Court on 9 September heard all cases related to Kerala’s stray dogs and said it would pronounce an interim order on 28 September.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and JK Maheshwari directed all parties, including the Kerala government, to table recommendations to resolve the crisis immediately.

The apex court sought a report from the Justice Siri Jagan Committee regarding the current situation of the stray dog menace in Kerala. 

A rapid increase in cases

On 26 July, the Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala, in response to a question from Alappuzha MP AM Arif in the Lok Sabha, reeled off dog bite numbers in Kerala that reflected the enormity of the problem in the state.

He said the number of cases fell from 81,118 in 2020 to 51,018 in 2021, probably due to the Covid-19-related lockdowns, but increased drastically to 95,352 by July this year.