BY ANKITA SHARMA
Jammu: Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) is working on a two-pronged strategy of Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Anti-Rabies Vaccination (ARV) to effectively and sustainably control the stray dog population, reduce the incidence of dog bites, and also to curb the spread of rabies.
An approximate stray dog population within JMC limits is between 40,000 to 50,000 while a fresh survey for the exact estimation is still underway.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, JMC Commissioner Rahul Yadav said that for this canine population, the JMC has to carry out the ABC-ARV drive in a mission mode and at a large scale.
To implement this, last year JMC entered into an agreement with a Delhi-based veterinary agency M/S FRIENDICOES-SECA to carry out the ABC-ARV programme in all JMC’s 75 wards.
“The drive is aimed at controlling the population, vaccinating, and sterilising them. The agency started its work in April 2021 for the effective management of the street dog population. No area within JMC limits will be left uncovered under the ABC-ARV programme as ward-wise catching of stray dogs is being done. The programme is being carried out as per the standards and protocols prescribed by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI),” Yadav said.
The twin projects are being carried out under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001 which have been promulgated under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
“Following the proper guidelines and as per Rule 7 (5) of ABC Rules 2001, JMC does not dislocate the stray dogs from one locality to another. These are only being captured from the area for sterilisation and immunisation (anti-rabies vaccination) and then JMC men release them in the same area after sterilisation and immunisation,” Yadav said.
From April 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022, under the project, 2885 stray dogs were lifted for treatment by the JMC.
“JMC has three dog-catcher vehicles, one used for lifting stray dogs for conducting ABC programme and other two for rescuing sick, injured stray dogs round the clock within JMC limits. After the work was started by FRIENDICOES-SECA in April 2021, more than 8500 ABC surgeries along with ARVs have been conducted,” Yadav said.
He said that the programme was successfully progressing till the second wave of COVID-19 engulfed the Jammu region.
“Following it, the programme was temporarily suspended from May 4, 2021, to June 8, 2021. It was again temporarily stopped in January 2022 in the wake of extreme cold weather conditions and third wave of COVID-19 pandemic,” Yadav said.
Since the beginning of the ABC programme in 2015, 22,500 surgeries have been conducted within JMC limits. Previously, the programme was being carried out departmentally with the help of the Animal Husbandry Department, Jammu.