ABC programme to be expanded in Kochi

Kochi Corporation to add more facilities to veterinary hospital, related infrastructure at Brahmapuram

Seven years after its launch, the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme of the Kochi Corporation is set to fortify its activities.

The Corporation is thinking in terms of strengthening the programme by adding more facilities to the veterinary hospital and other related infrastructure at Brahmapuram. The existing ABC facility will have to be shifted to a new location when the new solid waste treatment plant comes up. More facilities would be added to the unit, including the boarding facility for community dogs taken for sterilisation and vaccination at the new centre, said T.K. Ashraf, chairman of the health standing committee.

Currently, the civic body has engaged three veterinarians and animal catchers. On a daily average, eight to nine dogs are caught and taken to the ABC facility.

The biggest challenge for the successful implementation of the programme is the local resistance towards the release of dogs from the locations from where they are caught. Under the ABC programme, the dogs, after vaccination and sterilisation, have to be dropped back. However, when the animals are returned, there is public resistance. The civic body cannot keep the dogs for long at the ABC facility at Brahmapuram, he said.

The number of community dogs roaming in the city areas have increased since the lockdown. It could be the availability of food in the city areas that must be attracting the dogs. There had not been any perceptible fall in the number of community dogs, said Mr. Ashraf.

The ABC programme, said K.J. Kishore Kumar, the veterinarian who led the ABC programme of the civic body in May 2015, should be considered as a social welfare programme. It is a never-ending programme, which has to go on without any interruption. The impact of the programme could be felt when it was discontinued for some time. The number of dog bites and related issues could go up then, he said.

The intervention of the Kerala High Court regarding the community dogs at Thrikkakara had helped in improving the functioning of the Brahmapuram facility, he added.

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