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27 September 2010

Mass vaccination against rabies - The only solution saving humans and animals

Approximately 55,000 people around the world die from rabies every year. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “more than 99 per cent of all human rabies cases are transmitted by the bites of infected dogs”. It is now accepted by WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and many national animal welfare organisations that the only solution to the problem of rabies is a policy of dog vaccination (and sterilisation if possible), combined with community education in bite and rabies prevention, and accessible post exposure treatment for people. Inhumane mass culling of dogs has never been shown to have any effect on either dog populations or rabies reduction. Even so, many governments continue to indiscriminately poison, electrocute, shoot and club dogs whenever outbreaks of rabies occur. In fact even a removal of as much as 15 per cent of the population is quickly compensated by the increased survival of healthy animals and therefore an increase in population rates. Vaccination (and sterilisation where possible) is more cost-effective, humane and is proved to be the only workable solution for controlling rabies in the animal vector.
Author/Organization: World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) & Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA)
Year: 2010
Where: Indonesia
Topics: animal health, disease control, dog population management, human / animal relationship, human health, public health, stray dogs
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