HYDERABAD: The GHMC has embarked on a programme to make Hyderabad a rabies-free city. For the purpose, it plans to control the stray dog population in the city, apart from raising awareness on human and animal rabies.
The corporation will embark on a massive animal birth control (ABC) and anti-rabies vaccination (ARV) programmes. Above 2.5 lakh stray dogs in the city will be sterilised by developing the necessary infrastructure.
In addition, elaborate programmes will be held for children to educate them about their approach towards dogs. Officials said immediately after a dog bite, people should first wash the wound for 10 minutes using only bathing soap and pressurised running water. Carbolic acid present in the soap will kill the rabies virus. Thereafter, they must immediately rush to the vaccination centre for avoiding future complications.
While dogs are responsible for 99 percent of rabies, the virus can spread through cats, jackals, foxes and others too.
Claiming that there have been no human deaths in the city due to rabies for last six years, a senior GHMC official maintained that dog bites have become common in the city. He underlined that dogs mostly bite in a bid to protect themselves or their offspring "Avoid pelting stones at dogs and throwing light suddenly in darkness. A few dogs with aggressive behaviour will end up attacking humans," the official explained.
Elaborating on making Hyderabad a rabies-free city, the official asserted that the corporation will sterilise 2.5 lakh dogs within a span of one year. Special training will be given to 10 assistant veterinary surgeons in this regard. An infrastructure of kennels will be developed to conduct more ABC and ARV programmes. Towards this, the corporation will take help from Worldwide Veterinary Service, Blue Cross of Hyderabad and 18 others NGOs.
He regretted that pet owners are neglecting registration of their dogs saying in last one year, mere 500 pet dogs have been registered. With regard to pet shop licenses, the official said 10 of total 82 applications for pet shops have been rejected. He refused to comment further on the subject.