SARAH DIVISION


A review  of achievement and Progress of the Sikkim Anti-Rabies and Animal Health Division
The Sikkim Anti-Rabies and Animal Health (SARAH) Programme is an animal welfare and public health initiative of the State government.  It is a collaborative project between the Department of AH,LF&VS (Government of Sikkim), Foundation Brigitte Bardot (France), and the Australia-based NGO, Vets Beyond Borders(VBB).   The SARAH programme became a Division of the Department of AH,LF&VS in April 2009.  By 2012, the SARAH Programme will be run entirely by the State Government.
The SARAH programme protects and conserves the environment by controlling the stray dog and cat population of Sikkim in a sustainable, humane manner.  Controlling the dog population and vaccinating dogs against rabies is critical to controlling human rabies in Sikkim.

SARAH works in animal welfare, public health and wildlife conservation. It performs animal birth control surgeries, systematic rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats, and cares for the sick and injured animals of Sikkim.  It indirectly contributes to farming productivity by ensuring a healthy stable dog population to protect livestock and crops from wild animals such as jackal, wild boar and monkeys.  If farmers are growing chickens, dogs prevent jackal from eating the chickens.  If farmers are growing vegetables, dogs  will prevent damage by wild boar and monkeys.
Sikkim is the only state in India where such a comprehensive, holistic and sustainable public health and animal welfare initiative is being implemented.  

Objectives:

  • Reduce the stray dog and cat population by humane and sustainable means
  • Train local veterinary personnel in all aspects of veterinary medicine and surgery
  • Improve animal welfare throughout Sikkim
  • Improve public health by reducing the incidence of rabies and other zoonotic diseases and prevent human deaths from rabies in Sikkim
  • Help conserve the wildlife population
  • Provide veterinary care to all the stray animals

Importance of animals especially dogs and cats.
Animals  have been associated with and benefited humankind for thousands of years.   Street-dogs and cats are vital components of the ecosystem. They guard the streets against predatory wildlife such as wild-boar and bear and thus minimise human-wildlife conflict. They control the numbers of rats, mice and other vermin which can spread diseases to humans. Dogs also provide great service to us in the police, army and in medical therapy. They can also be valuable, loved pets.

 

SARAH ANNUAL REPORT l SARAH PROGRAMME