Gujarat : Ahmedabad Aims for Stray Dogs Bite-Free Future 

Residents keeping pet dogs will need to obtain a mandatory license, with fees ranging between Rs.500 and Rs.1000 in Ahmedabad


Ahmedabad : Stray dog bites and the constant threat of rabies have become a growing concern for Ahmedabad residents. However, there’s hope on the horizon! The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has unveiled a powerful initiative titled “Rabies Free Ahmedabad by 2030.” This ambitious plan outlines a multi-pronged approach to significantly reduce dog bite incidents and ensure public safety within the next six years.

Taking Responsibility: Licensing and Vaccinations at the Core

The cornerstone of the plan lies in establishing a robust licensing system for dog ownership. Residents keeping pet dogs will need to obtain a mandatory license, with fees ranging between Rs.500 and Rs.1000. This system not only generates revenue but also fosters accountability among owners.

But the plan doesn’t stop there. Recognizing the critical role of vaccination in preventing rabies, the AMC will prioritize mass vaccination of stray dogs.  However, the initiative acknowledges the one-year efficacy of the vaccine and emphasizes the need for annual revaccination to achieve long-term immunity for the stray dog population.

Tech for Tails: RFID Tracking for Effective Management

To streamline the revaccination process and effectively track stray dog populations, the AMC will invest Rs.1.8 crore in RFID chipping. This innovative technology, similar to that used for stray cow management, will allow for efficient identification and monitoring of strays.

Digital Leashes: Online Registration and On-Site Verification for Pet Owners

The plan embraces the digital age by exploring the possibility of online registration for pet dogs. This system would empower owners to upload vaccination certificates and photographs of their designated dog-keeping areas. Following online registration, the Municipal Corporation’s CNCD department will conduct physical inspections to verify compliance with the guidelines, ensuring responsible pet ownership.

From Complaints to Compliance: Addressing Public Concerns

The “Rabies Free Ahmedabad by 2030” plan is a direct response to the alarming rise in dog bite complaints. Data paints a concerning picture: 4158 complaints were registered in 2021-22, followed by a significant jump to 8509 in 2022-23, and a staggering 11,676 in 2023-24.

The initiative goes beyond just controlling the stray dog population. It emphasizes responsible pet ownership as well. Owners will be held accountable for ensuring their pets don’t disturb neighbors. The AMC is also considering a system where owners must report giving away puppies to the municipality. This discourages irresponsible pet abandonment and promotes responsible pet management.

Transparency Through Barcodes: Building Trust with Residents

The plan takes a unique approach to foster transparency and accountability. Discussions are underway regarding the installation of barcodes outside dog owners’ residences.  These barcodes would contain essential information about the dog and its owner, allowing residents to easily identify responsible pet owners and report any concerns to the authorities.

Beyond Vaccination: Research and Education for Long-Term Success

“Rabies Free Ahmedabad by 2030” goes beyond just vaccination and licensing. The AMC plans to conduct in-depth research on dog bite cases, analyzing factors like bite location and seasonal variations in dog behavior. This data will be invaluable in developing targeted interventions to address specific areas and situations where dog bite incidents are more prevalent.

Furthermore, the corporation recognizes the importance of public awareness. The plan incorporates Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities to educate residents about rabies prevention and responsible dog ownership. Educated residents are better equipped to protect themselves and their communities.

A Collaborative Effort: Dedicated Monitoring and Community Engagement

The success of this ambitious plan hinges on a dedicated monitoring committee chaired by the Municipal Commissioner. This committee will comprise 13 members, including subject matter experts, ensuring diverse perspectives are considered during implementation. Regular monthly reviews will be conducted to assess progress, identify challenges, and adapt the plan as needed.

Erradicating rabies by 2030 is a bold vision, but Ahmedabad’s plan demonstrates a strong commitment to public health and safety. With effective implementation, responsible dog ownership practices, and ongoing community engagement, the dream of a bite-free Ahmedabad can become a reality.