Navhind Times | 6 days ago | 14-05-2022 | 02:03 am
Staff ReportMargaoFearing a threat to Goa’s rabies-free status, the Mission Rabies has appealed to the Maharashtra government to allow undertaking vaccination of dogs free of cost.An appeal was also made to the Karnataka government which granted permission for vaccination in its border talukas in April.Director (education) and officer in-charge of Government Collaboration at Mission Rabies, Dr. Murugan Appupillai said it is important to start vaccination immediately.“Since the border migration has now become a threat to Goa’s rabies-free status, the government of Goa had requested Maharashtra and Karnataka to take up rabies-control measures in their talukas along Goa’s borders. In response to the Goa’s call, the Karnataka government has already started work through Mission Rabies in Karwar taluka. However, it is a great concern that Maharashtra government animal husbandry department is reluctant to permit dog vaccination in talukas of Sawantwadi, Dodamarg and Vengurla even after repeated requests by Goa animal husbandry directorate,” he said.Cases of canine rabies have decreased dramatically in Goa since the state government launched the Rabies Elimination Project in 2015 in partnership with Mission Rabies.Since 2018, there has been no human rabies death recorded in the state. Even though the animal rabies cases stopped in interior talukas, border talukas continued to record animal rabies cases which peaked during the COVID pandemic when dogs from Maharashtra started moving into Goa.Recently, the Sawantwadi district reported several rabies cases in both humans and animals, which has raised fears that the virus could migrate from Maharashtra to Goa.“Following the recent reports of rabies positive cases in Sawantwadi, the Mission Rabies is seriously concerned about the possible migration of virus from Maharashtra into Goa which is rabies-free. The Mission Rabies has offered to bear the entire cost of the project but the Maharashtra state animal husbandry department is reluctant to permit this urgent vaccination,” claimed Dr. Appupillai.He had met officials of Maharashtra animal husbandry department to stress on the urgency of starting the vaccination.