Twenty million dogs are brutally killed every year. That’s 38 every minute. They die in horrific ways including poisoning, beating and electrocution. The video below contains disturbing images of this cruelty but the real tragedy is that killing dogs doesn’t stop the spread of rabies – one of the main reasons behind such culls. Mass vaccination is the only solution.
Rabies: a global problem with a global solution
WSPA is calling on governments worldwide to stop killing dogs and start running effective dog vaccination programmes. WSPA wants every vaccinated dog to be fitted with a red collar so that communities know which vulnerable animals have been protected against rabies.
“I think it’s absolutely horrific that 20 million dogs are killed every year, often because of the fear of rabies, when there is an alternative solution,” said WSPA celebrity supporter Leona Lewis, “I really want to help WSPA to spread the word worldwide and end the cruelty that is happening at the moment. By educating people and getting vaccinations out there, we’re not only helping dogs, but entire communities.”
"Rabies poses a serious threat to both human and animal populations," said Ray Mitchell, International Campaigns Director, WSPA, “But with successful rabies control projects in countries across Asia and Latin America, WSPA has proven time and time again that a world without rabies is not a world without dogs.”
Bangladesh chooses collars
WSPA is launching the Red Collar campaign with a project in Bangladesh that will save thousands of dogs in its first year alone.
“We look forward to working with WSPA,” said Prof. Be-Nazir Ahmed, Director of Disease Control, Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “We will proceed in a united way to eliminate rabies without the need to cull dogs.”
Just as we did in Bali, WSPA will work with the Bangladesh government so they can implement a nation-wide vaccination campaign in line with internationally proven methods.
Bali: a success story
Indonesia’s tourist destination Bali demonstrates the most recent success of the solution proposed by WSPA. A multi-stakeholder approach was agreed with the Balinese government and thanks to the generosity of WSPA supporters, the first island-wide mass vaccination programme, funded in part by WSPA, was launched there on World Rabies Day 2010. In the first phase of the campaign, approximately 210,000 dogs (70% of the total estimated population) were vaccinated in 4,126 banjars throughout Bali. Data analysed at the end of this first phase showed a decrease of over 45% in cases of canine rabies, and a reduction of 48% in rabies related human deaths in comparison to the same period in the previous year.
“With our work in Bali, we offered proof that a humane alternative for rabies control was both practical and effective. Other governments are beginning to recognise this success, and we are now working in several countries to design similar models for rabies control,” said Ray Mitchell. “With the increasing support we are receiving from governments, international agencies and inter-governmental bodies, WSPA is confident of creating a world where we see collars, not cruelty, winning the fight against rabies.”
“I think that WSPA’s initiative in Bali is amazing and it proves that their solution works to protect humans, and of course to protect the animals,” Leona says. “I wish that more governments would take this on board. I really hope that everyone joins me in supporting this campaign as this is something I feel really passionate about.”
Demand collars not cruelty in the fight against rabies. Join WSPA and support the campaign by taking part in our virtual dog march.