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Awareness of animal emergency helpline on the rise in Tiruchi

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Ever since animal emergency number ‘1962’ was introduced over one-and-half-years ago, the awareness among livestock owners residing in rural areas in Tiruchi district regarding this helpline to seek medical assistance for their animals has seen a steady rise.

Tiruchi was one among the select five districts across the State where Animal Mobile Medical Ambulances were deployed to attend to distress calls from owners of livestock to provide integrated emergency medical service to the animals.

On an average, Tiruchi district alone deals with around 60 to 75 cases that come through distress calls made to the animal helpline number 1962. Majority of the calls originate from the rural areas, says P.N. Richard Jagatheesan, Professor and Head, Veterinary University Training and Research Centre, Tiruchi which comes under the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. The centre is entrusted with the task of maintaining the two animal mobile ambulances in Tiruchi.

The call made to 1962 lands at the Emergency Response Centre at Chennai from where it is disseminated to the Mobile Veterinary Doctor concerned. Complete details of the caller including the place from where the call is made as well as the health-related problems faced by the livestock is ascertained before proceeding to the spot.

The treatment is provided at the doorstep of the farmer by the mobile ambulance equipped with necessary medicines besides a veterinary doctor, attender and a driver, says Dr. Jagatheesan.

In case the livestock required tertiary case, it is transported to the Veterinary Hospital at Palakkarai in Tiruchi or to the Veterinary College Hospital at Orathanadu in Thanjavur or Namakkal.

Sometimes the mobile veterinary doctor would offer online mobile direction to the caller if the case did not require personal medical intervention, says Dr. Jagatheesan, who is also the district level coordinator of Animal Mobile Medical Ambulance.

In addition to attending emergency calls, the mobile ambulances are also deployed for every 'jallikattu' organised at different places in Tiruchi district. The ambulances have covered around 25 to 30 jallikattu events in Tiruchi this year.

Similar mobile ambulances have been deployed in Thanjavur, Madurai, Kancheepuram and Namakkal districts, he added.

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