Rabies: A two-week sterilisation and vaccination campaign is underway in Samdrupjongkhar to control and prevent rabies in domestic and stray dogs and also avert human-rabies transmission.

According to a press release from the Samdrupjongkhar livestock sector, the campaign is being conducted for a sustainable dogs control strategy in collaboration with the National Centre for Animal Health, Regional Livestock Development Centre and the thromde.

The disease is mostly endemic in the southern part of the country and is most commonly reported in the border towns and villages, states the press release. In order to curb the dog population in the dzongkhag, various strategies and methods were also put in place. The control through “catch-neuter-vaccinate-release” methods with Community Animal Birth Control Programme is also being initiated annually in the dzongkhag.

Of the 11 gewogs in the dzongkhag, Narphung, Wooling and Jomotshangkha reported rabies outbreaks this year. A total of 1,160 dogs and cats (both stray and pets) were vaccinated through the programme and more than 400 dogs were spayed/neutered, according to the press release.

The programme that began on December 18 has sterilised more than 53 dogs so far. The programme is scheduled to cover all the 11 gewogs before summer, in a bid to cover over 500 dogs, states the press release.

“The main aim of the rabies control programme is to control and eliminate dog-mediated rabies, protect and maintain a rabies-free area by 2022 through holistic strategies in place,” states the press release.

The National Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Programme under the Department of Livestock manages the dog population in collaboration with respective dzongkhags annually.

Staff Reporter