Every year, more than 55,000 people around the world die from rabies. In response, nearly 20 million dogs are needlessly and cruelly killed in misguided attempts to control the disease.
Today, on World Rabies Day, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is calling for “Collars Not Cruelty” and asking governments worldwide to tackle rabies through the only humane and effective solution: mass vaccination of dogs.[ Also Read: Now a Social Network for Dog Lovers ]
“Rabies poses a serious threat to both human and animal populations in many parts of the world,” said Ray Mitchell, international campaigns director, WSPA.
“When confronted with the problem of this fast-spreading disease, national governments sometimes turn to what they believe is the only way to wipe out rabies: wipe out the dog population. However, a world without rabies does not have to mean a world without dogs.”
Over the past several years, WSPA has led rabies control projects in Bali, Sri Lanka and several Latin American countries – all of which provided humane and sustainable alternatives to killing the dog population in a response to rabies.[ Also Read: What Do You Want after Divorce – Pet or Money? ]
As part of its “Collars Not Cruelty” campaign, the organization will work to implement similar mass vaccination projects in other areas of the world. It was announced today, Sept. 28.
For example, WSPA is currently working on a new project in Bangladesh, where it is supporting the national government in implementing a large-scale vaccination campaign in the town of Cox’s Bazar.
The effort, WSPA says, will save thousands of dogs in its first year alone and pave the way for a nation-wide vaccination campaign.