BMC budgets for dog bites, creates separate department under vet

BMC has decided to acquire more teeth to deal with the rising problem of dog bites and rabies. It has created a separate department headed by a veterinarian to look at animal bite cases.

"Until now, the executive health officer was dealing with cases of infection due to animal bites. Now, we have decided to create a post of senior veterinarian, who will look at cases of dog and rat bites and other animal-related issues," additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar told a BMC general body meeting Thursday.

NCP corporator Sayeda Khan raised the issue.

She said, "There have been many cases of dog bites in the city but BMC still does not have a proper vaccination programme against rabies. The number of incidents was nearly 1 lakh in 2012." In budget 2013-2014, BMC has made adequate provision to deal with the problem. "Only 40 of the 122 dispensaries have rabies vaccination facility. We will expand this to 60 more dispensaries. The main component needed here was refrigerators to store the medicine. We have now made provision for this in budget," said Mhaiskar.

BMC has also proposed a department for ethical treatment of animals to be run by qualified veterinarians.

"Till 1993, BMC used electric shocks to kill infected dogs. On January 26, 1994, the corporation began sterilising the animals," said Mhaiskar.

She said in 1998, BMC tried to restart the shock treatment, but there was a petition in Bombay High Court against the practice. "The matter is still pending in court, but an interim order was passed in 2007 asking BMC to construct a doghouse in Palghar. Local corporators and residents, however, protested the move," Mhaiskar said.

NO STRAY INCIDENT

YEAR BITE cases Fatalties

2011 80,890 7

... contd.

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