A new vaccine has been developed to sterilise stray dogs/ animals to control their population and will be launched soon, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala announced on Thursday.
The Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying mentioned about the vaccine while responding to a query related to rising cases of rabies due to stray animal bites in rural and urban areas.
To deal with the menace of stray animals, Rupala said, “for this, we have discovered a vaccine to sterilise stray animals.” All the approvals are in place and the vaccine will be rolled out soon, the minister said.
Dogs have two annual breeding cycles, with pregnancy lasting 60-62 days, and they give birth to six to eight puppies per cycle. Of this, half of them are usually female. Within 10 to 12 months, the puppies reach maturity and start reproducing on their own. The rate of reproduction is rapid and the birth control programme can only slowly take effect.
Many countries have an overwhelming amount of stray dogs, but sterilization and vaccination programs are a great way to keep these populations under control.
And one such program has been a resounding success: The Kingdom of Bhutan, a country once overrun with strays, has become the first country to vaccinate and sterilize 100% of their street dogs.
Stray Dogs Menace is a serious problem
lka Upadhyaya, Secretary of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, said stray dog menace is a serious problem and advocated balanced approach to deal with this issue.
‘There were certain deliberations on what should be the strategy (to deal with the issue). There was a thought that we should look at vaccination. Nevertheless and may be, not be so worried about controlling the population of dogs but I think, there has to be a balance. Given the humongous problem that we face, we have to be very careful on the strategy,’ she said.
The four-day conference concluded on Thursday.
On what will be India’s stand related to fishermen in upcoming in the ministerial-level meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Rupala said the stand will remain the same and the government is committed to take all measures to protect the fishermen.
While addressing the conference, the minister highlighted deep-rooted significance of animal welfare in the rich tapestry of Indian tradition and culture exemplifying the interconnectedness of all living beings.
Rupala said the welfare of animals is integral to the ethos of Indian culture, which aligns seamlessly with the modern concept of global One Health movement.
Upadhyay noted that disease reporting is very critical, as this helps in adopting better surveillance mechanism.
‘This region (Asia and the Pacific) in terms of animal health is a very important region. It covers a very large expanse of land including the Asia and the Pacific region, which means we also have Australia, New Zealand and United States of America as well as South Asian and South East Asian who are represented here in this conference,’ she said.
Delegates and experts from 22 member countries are participating physically, with others joining virtually.