The Hard Facts from the Rabies Free Kerala Movement
The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations or FIAPO have conducted a state-wide study called ‘A Dog's Life’. As part of their Rabies Free Kerala movement, this study is a step in the right direction, into finding out on-ground, real opinions from the people regarding the street dog issue.
The facts are as follows
While the majority consider street dogs as great pets, there have been a few cases of dog bites that have contributed to the man-dog conflict. They also believe that most street dogs are not rabid and hence want a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
They also understand that the increase in dog numbers is due to improper disposal of garbage and dumping of waste by illegal slaughterhouses. The most important fact from the study, however, is that the people of Kerala know that street dogs are capable of feeling emotion and pain, therefore killing them is not the solution.
The study shows clearly that the solution for the man-dog conflict is solid waste management and education awareness. Speaking on the matter, Varda Mehrotra, Director FIAPO says “we are extremely pleased to see the statewide acceptance and regard for our Rabies Free Kerala movement. We have worked extensively with local NGOs and Municipal Corporations to create awareness about sterilization being the only scientific and humane choice of animal population control. We are happy to see the positive results from our systematic focus on the implementation of the ABC programme in the state and appeal to municipal bodies to take the lead on this movement. Our study has revealed that the public at large in Kerala is tolerant and accepting of street dogs and wants a humane solution to any conflict, which is also our focus.”
The rabies-free Kearala movement has seen considerable growth. There have been numerous vaccination and sterilization drives, dog bite prevention awareness drives and arrangements have been made to implement ABC programmes in a robust manner, in partnership with local NGOs, municipal bodies and the animal husbandry department under the SAFE Kerala programme. FIAPO representative Lakshmi Venkataraman said “The people of Kerala want a peaceful and scientific resolution to the perceived man-dog conflict. We have received positive feedback from the Suchitwa Kerala mission, IVA Kerala and Kerala Government Veterinary Officers’ Association (KGVOA). We believe in following the law of the land and feel that only ABC and ARV can prove to be a long-term solution to the current situation in Kerala. In the last few months, I have borne witness to the commendable work done by some district administrations and I am pleased to share that more districts have started the process of implementing the ABC programs systematically in coordination with the Animal Husbandry departments. I would also like to make a special mention of Kollam, that has done particularly well for the implementation of the ABC programme and I call upon other local bodies to follow their model.”
Let’s hope these facts and all the good works from the people concerned will see a positive resolution in the state. We at Vegan First would like nothing better than to see the success of the Free Rabies Kerala movement.
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