Sustainable Dog Population Management and Rabies Vaccination Program in western region is long term continuous campaign initiated through multi-sector approaches, mainly involvement of communities. In western-southern region, an increase number of unwanted, unhealthy and un-vaccinated dogs are found roaming and no responsible community engagement in management of free roaming community dogs. The abandoned and free roaming community dogs can give rise to a series of human and animal health and welfare concern, in urban spaces and other human habitats.
The program will be implemented to attain the following objectives
- To reduce and stabilize the free roaming dog population in the western districts
- Education and involvement of community/stakeholders to address oversize dog population through promotion of responsible community dog ownership (adoption)
- To initiate mandatory registration, sterilization and vaccination (rabies) through community engagement
- To reduce dog mediated human rabies and achieving zero by 2030
A sustainable program will be carried out after proper dog population survey in a district. The DPM survey is essential to :
- Estimate the owned and stray dog population size
- Estimate of feral dog population
- Evaluate the CNVR (sterilization) coverage (CNVR-Catch Neuter vaccinate Release)
- Understand the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of the communities
- Assess the adoption probability of the FR dogs by the communities
The DPM and MDV (mass dog vaccination) mobile applications will be used for proper planning and execution of mass anti-rabies vaccination and sterilization program. The mobile application will allows to catch the dog, vaccinate, sterilize and release the dog in same areas. The areas will be mapped using geo-coordinates . All vaccinated and sterilized dogs will be marked by ear notching. During the campaign pre (indicator), mid and final surveys will be coordinated to assess the coverage status in districts. The abandoned puppies will be picked for individual adoption, the officials will check the temperament of abandoned puppies and do grooming/training. Hence the dog will be rehome aftermandatory sterilization, vaccination and registration with veterinary offices. In institutions, schools, business entities and other cluster locality, the community adoption will be promoted having mandatory sterilization & vaccination, further sensitizing the responsibilities to locality for welfare and care. Thus to promote the responsible pet/individual and community dog ownership.
The programs or campaigns will be initiated only after proper consultation and engagement of local government agencies, stakeholders and communities. The 3Cs concept (Consultation, Commitment & Collaboration) will be used as core values to have declarations from each districts like 100% sterilization and vaccination and 50-60% stray dog adoption. Overall, the Catch Neuter vaccinate & Release (CNVR) protocols will be followed, having innovative modalities of dog catching through community supports and other techniques. Feral dog population management program will be clubbed together and involve key agencies like forestry officials.
The Regional office (RLDC & DLS) has successfully completed a pilot program in Haa district with coverage of 93% sterilization and vaccination and 65% dog adoptions. In 22 working days, about 1109 dogs were sterilized, 2200 dog vaccinated and 787 dogs (95% stray dogs) were adopted by communities/dog lover. A team also carried out mass rabies vaccination program amid rabies outbreaks in adjacent district and covered 1216 dogs in 9 days. The pilot program is successful campaign/model with proper estimation of dog population size (survey) and innovative implementation modalities. Proper M & E were instituted like pre, mid and final survey to plan repeated combing sterilization/vaccination program. The successful model will be replicated in other districts.
Further a sustainable program will be coordinated using similar successful model & implementation modalities in other western districts (both high and low rabies risk districts). The program will target to sterilize and vaccinate about more than 10000 dogs and at least 60% dog adoption starting from September 2020 to June 2021 in four remaining districts.
The program will be lead by Regional Livestock Development centre, Tsimasham, Department of Livestock, Dog Population unit, National Center for Animal Health Thimphu DoL (DPM flagship) in collaboration with District administration (District Livestock Sectors) and otehr key stakeholders in west-southern region).