Over the previous 10 days, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) vaccinated 14,191 stray animals, including 9,493 dogs and 4,698 cats, as part of the continuing “rabies-mukt Mumbai” campaign.
The local body signed an agreement in July with Mission Rabies as well as Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS) to vaccine one lakh stray dogs in Mumbai by February 2024, which will be accomplished through a large vaccination effort. Previously, the civic government announced a mini-pulse vaccination push to vaccinate 15,000 stray dogs on World Rabies Day, which was on September 28.
As a result, over 14,000 stray animals were vaccinated between September 29 and October 10 in the corporation’s R/North, R/Central, R/South, P/North, S, and T wards, which include Dahisar, Borivali, Kandivali, and Malad in the western suburbs and Bhandup, Vikhroli, and Mulund in the central suburbs.
According to BMC data, 78,756 dog bite cases were reported in 2022, 61,332 cases were reported in 2021, and 53,020 cases were reported in 2020.
“Every day between September 29 and October 10, a vaccination campaign was carried out by a total of 15 teams,” the BMC stated in a statement issued on Monday.
The “net catching” methodology was utilised by five of the teams, while the others employed the “hand catching” method. The teams, each comprised of a vaccinator, a data collector, and a volunteer from an animal welfare charity, also implanted Near Field Communication (NFC) tags on select dogs.
According to Kalimpasha Pathan, general manager of Deonar Abattoir, “In the western suburbs, we have put up NFC tags on around 300–400 stray animals, which will contain information about the animals’ gender, whether they are pets, information about vaccination, among other details.”
“Dahisar, Borivli, Kandivli, Malad, Powai, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Nahur, and Mulund were included in the R-North, R-Central, R-South, P-North, S, and T wards. From 7.30 a.m. until 5 p.m., fifteen teams of vaccinators, data collectors, and animal handler volunteers were deployed”, it was reported.
“The BMC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mission Rabies and Worldwide Veterinary Services as part of a larger national initiative to eliminate rabies from stray animals by 2030. This collaboration will provide free services and knowledge to make Mumbai a ‘rabies-free’ city”, according to the BMC. “The project illustrates the city’s dedication to animal welfare and public health”, according to the MoU. “Around 1 lakh stray dogs in Mumbai would be vaccinated against rabies each year”, according to Dr. Kaleem Pathan, head of the BMC’s veterinary services department.
The BMC reported in August that the city’s stray dog population had certainly exceeded 1.64 lakh, approximately 72% higher than in 2014. tnn