Aiming for a Rabies Free Kerala!

Trivandrum, 9th March 2017: As part of Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations’ (FIAPO) Rabies Free Kerala movement, a statewide study named A dog’s life, was released today. The study shows that more than 85% of people in Kerala believe that street dogs make wonderful pets. In fact 90% of the respondents claimed improper disposal of garbage and dumping of waste by illegal slaughterhouses to be the leading causes of increase in street dog numbers.

The study further shares that the only solution to man-dog conflict lies in scientific methods of ABC-AR, solid waste management and education-awareness. Almost all people believe that killing of dogs is not a solution and that any such acts need to be stopped immediately.

In the statement given to the press, Varda Mehrotra, Director FIAPO said “we are extremely pleased to see the state wide 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 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.”

FIAPO also released a progress report on the initiatives taken up for management of the human-dog conflict in the state. The activities include long term and short term solutions like systematic sterilization of street dogs, vaccination against rabies, awareness on dog bite prevention, effective management of solid waste and prompt resolution of cruelty cases.

Speaking on the occasion, 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 form 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.”

In the last two months, Rabies Free Kerala has witnessed tremendous on-ground activity in Kerala towards dog bite prevention education and sterilization-vaccination of street dogs. 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.

Rabies Free Kerala campaign has garnered immense support in Kerala in the past few months with local authorities, political leaders, influencers and NGOs coming together to ensure that there is a harmonious dog-human relationship. Minister for Urban Development and MLA Kattakada, along with Municipal corporations of Calicut, Kollam, Kannur, Palakkad have joined the movement.

Moreover, the movement has seen extensive support from the Zila Panchayats of Neyyatinkara, Malayinkeezhu, Patanamthitta; in addition to Indian Vet Association, Kerala Government Veterinary Officers’ Association and Sujithwa Kerala Mission. Moreover, 12 local Kerala animal NGOs (Daya (Muvattupuzha), SPCA Kochi, Forest Association, Beauty without Cruelty, Care for Animals, Dhyan Foundation, PFA Trivandrum, Street Dog Watch (Kovalam), PFA Kollam, SPCA Kollam, PAWS Thrissur and University of Veterinary Sciences, Wayanad have also joined the movement.

Representatives of the Federation, Ms Lakshmi Venkataraman and Mr. Ramadas M K were present at the conference

Date : 20 March 2017