AS A measure to control the viral rabies, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is set to roll out licensing of pet dogs in the city. The plans of implementing this rule, within a month would include maintaining a complete and updated record of vaccination of the pet along with its health certificate issued from a licensing authority.
Confirming this move, deputy municipal commissioner S M Khatri heading the Cattle Nuisance Control Department (CNCD) said, “The planning stage for issuing licenses for pet dogs is almost over. Now we are focussing on its implementation that would be hopefully executed within a month. As at present, majority do not get their pets vaccinated on a regular basis. But once it is implemented, it would be mandatory for all residents to get their pets registered.”
On the possible documentation process, Khatri further elaborated that unlike most of the certifications done by the civic body, online registration facility would not be offered for pets. “Since we would physically ensure the pet’s health and verify the vaccination records along with its photograph, it would not be possible through online where there are chances of easy manipulation of these documents.”
This initiative of AMC is seen as an attempt to control rabies. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, in more than 99 per cent of human cases, the rabies virus is transmitted by domestic dogs. The infectious viral disease that is almost always fatal following the onset of clinical signs affects domestic and wild animals and is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually through saliva.
Stressing on this data, Abodh Aras, CEO of Mumbai-based NGO Welfare of Stray Dogs said, “Mumbai has already started this licensing system and it has proved to be very effective. It would be very helpful in controlling rabies in Ahmedabad if it is implemented here too. Similarly, Mumbai took another which perhaps can be replicated in Ahmedabad as well is the initiative of dog bite prevention and awareness in municipal schools as majority of dog bite cases are among children below 15 years of age.”
Welfare of Stray Dogs partnered with Humane Society International had organised a workshop in Ahmedabad to focus on capacity building and strategy discussion regarding conducting a successful Animal Birth Control programme.
As per the census conducted in the year 2011, there are nearly 2 lakh stray dogs in Ahmedabad.