Trivandrum, 29th June 2017: Prominent public personalities in Kerala- Dr. NN Sasi (Director, Animal¬†Husbandry, Government of Kerala), Mr. Gouridasan Nair (Chief of Bureau, Hindu), Mr. John Mary¬†(Resident Editor, Deccan Chronicle) and Dr. Annie Verghese(PhD in veterinary surgery and senior¬†veterinary surgeon in the Animal Husbandry department) urged the government of Kerala to¬†undertake comprehensive dog-bite prevention measures in addition to Animal Birth Control (ABC). They¬†also urged the media to remain neutral and objective in its reportage of this issue, and invited it to be a¬†part of the solution-finding process.
In a 3-hour long solution-finding workshop before the media, these personalities discussed how people¬†used to co-exist with street animals earlier, and the cultural and social factors that played a part in¬†changing that. The government representative also spoke of various initiatives that are being¬†undertaken in the state to counter human-dog conflict, and discussed the details of their ABC¬†programme. They also spoke of initiatives other than ABC that ought to be implemented simultaneously¬†‚Äď such as education programmes on dog-bite prevention in schools, vaccination of street dogs against¬†rabies, and counseling of dog-bite victims. Most importantly, they emphasized the responsibility of the
media to cover both sides of the issue in an objective an unbiased manner, and to proactively be a part¬†of the solution.
Varda Mehrotra, Director, FIAPO, said ‚ÄúFIAPO is honored to have organised such a workshop in Kerala. It¬†brings the much-needed voices of public figures to the forefront of this issue. A holistic resolution of the¬†street dog issue needs to include education and awareness in schools, vaccination of street-dogs against¬†rabies and counseling of dog-bite victims in hospitals and affected communities. FIAPO has proposals for
the same at different stages with the government, and we are very glad that prominent personalities¬†from Kerala are also actively speaking up about the issue. With this workshop, we hope the media will¬†track the progress of these solutions and give them adequate coverage as well‚ÄĚ.
At the moment, there are several initiatives that are in progress for combating human-dog conflict.
Animal Birth Control (ABC) is conducted by the government at the district level, along with vaccination¬†against rabies. An exclusive vaccination programme for street dogs has been started by the Trivandrum¬†Corporation. Local NGOs have also organized successful adoption drives for street dogs, which shows¬†that the people of Kerala do enjoy the companionship that desi dogs provide. These along with the¬†FIAPO‚Äôs initiatives of education in all schools, and counseling of dog-bite victims make for a¬†comprehensive list of initiatives to manage human-dog conflict.
Date : 29 June 2017