14 April 2014, Khuruthang: The Community Animal Birth Control (CABC) program is a new concept under the existing National Dog Population Management and Rabies Control Program (NDPM & RCP) supported by Human Society International (HSI) and the Royal Government of Bhutan. The program is an add-on to the “Catch, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release” (CNVR) activities implemented by NDPM & RCP nationally. Under the CABC program, each district will be able to independently manage and monitor their pet, community and stray dog population through a multi-sectoral, coordinated approach involving all relevant stakeholders.
The program is targeted to tackle the over population crisis at its root cause by working closely with the community to advocate responsible pet ownership, and to encourage community dog carers to take responsibility of the dogs they feed by caring for their overall welfare by having them sterilised, vaccinated and given any medical attention they require, by bringing them to the District Veterinary Hospital (DVH) for the CABC program. The program has inbuilt training component to train all CABC staff to ensure high international standards of animal welfare. Training is also provided to maintain international standards aseptic surgery conditions for spay and neuter surgeries in field conditions. The program aims to implement CABC in all 20 Dzongkhags by June 2015.
The launching occasion on 14 April 2014 at Khuruthang municipal ground was graced by Dasho Phub Tshering, the Dzongdag as the Chief Guest along with Dr. Tashi Samdup, Director, Department of Livestock. The launching was attended by Gups from all eleven Gewogs under Punakha Dzongkhag, Livestock officials from Livestock Sector in Punakha and Wangdue, staff from Regional Livestock Development Centre, Wangdue, National Animal Hospital, Thimphu, sector heads under Punakha Dzongkhag, officials from NDPM & RCP, NCAH and the communities.
While addressing the gathering, the Director of the Department of Livestock urged the communities to support the program as the program benefit the communities themselves. He also informed that the CABC team is a specialist team which consists of one Veterinarian and 5 Para-veterinarians from within each district. A core team from Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital will spearhead the Community Animal Birth Control program in the Dzongkhags for long term sustainability of dog population management in the country.
He also informed the communities that “Tuesday – Love your dog day” is the first Tuesday of every month – the District Veterinary Hospital will provide free health check up, sterilisation, vaccination, de-worming, flea and tick treatment. The CABC program is focused on stakeholder support and community involvement and the CABC team will conduct mass sterilisation and vaccination in each Geog at least once a year long-term.
The launch program was followed by pantomime and skits performed by students of Khuruthang High School to create public awareness on rabies and dog bites.
Contributed by Dr. N Dahal, DoL HQ
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