Responding to an increase in dog bite incidents, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) launched a comprehensive census to assess the population of stray dogs in the city. The initiative, accompanied by a vaccination and administration of ivermectin drive against ecto and endoparasites, commenced in the Royapuram division (zone 5) and was inaugurated by GCC Commissioner J Radhakrishnan.
City Health Officer Dr Jagadeesan, City Veterinary Officer Dr Kamal Hussain, and GCC veterinarians, along with volunteers from the Madras Veterinary College, were also present during the launch.
The census and vaccination drive are slated to span approximately 120 days, covering 16 zones in the city. Officials emphasized their openness to engaging willing volunteers in the initiative.
In alignment with the World Health Organisation`s guidelines, the GCC, alongside the health and veterinary departments, aims to take measures to make Chennai rabies-free and safeguard residents from rabies infections.
As per the civic body`s statement, the last census in October 2018 estimated Chennai to be home to 57,366 dogs. In pursuit of effective stray dog management, the GCC has deployed seven dedicated teams, each comprising a veterinarian, four dog catchers, two assistants, and a vehicle. The teams aim to capture and vaccinate approximately 910 stray dogs daily.