It is World Rabies Day, when a spotlight is shone on this deadly yet preventable disease. WSPA’s Red Collar campaign has been running for a year today, working to end the inhumane culling of millions of dogs in response to rabies. And with your help, it is going from strength to strength.
Vaccination works where culling fails
“While we waste time culling millions of dogs because of our fear of rabies, thousands of people are dying horrific and painful deaths from this deadly disease,” says Mike Baker, WSPA Chief Executive.
The world desperately needs more effective action: rabies kills approximately 55,000 people every year, many of them children. But responding with cruel mass dog culls, in which animals are poisoned, beaten and gassed, does not stop the spread of the disease.
WSPA’s Red Collar campaign promotes the humane approach to tacking rabies. We are calling on all governments to carry out mass dog vaccinations, which is the only proven solution to controlling this deadly disease. Vaccinating 70% of a local dog population against rabies creates a barrier of immunity that protects both animals and people.
We’re not alone. Every leading organisation committed to preventing rabies – including the World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – agree that killing dogs doesn’t stop rabies spreading to people.
Red Collar campaign gains pace
This World Rabies Day, WSPA is:
- Delighted to announce a partnership with the government of Bangladesh: together we will roll out a Rabies National Action Plan that will help stamp out rabies in Bangladesh, where it kills over 2,000 people a year.
- Looking forward to the results of new research that will identify how we can best work with governments and communities in rabies-prevalent African countries to introduce humane vaccination. We plan to start running pilot schemes in Africa in early 2013.
- Celebrating the success of Red Collar pilot projects in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and in Bali, Indonesia, both of which offer further proof that mass dog vaccination combined with community education leads to a dramatic fall in both dog and human rabies deaths. Vaccinated dogs are given a red collar to show they have been protected against rabies. These red-collared dogs are a visible symbol of the proactive measures being taken to defend the community from rabies without resorting to the killing of dogs.
Help us help dogs
“We are pleased to see the successes to date, where mass dog vaccination programmes have been introduced, but our vision is to have a world where no dog is needlessly killed in response to rabies. We want to see all countries with rabies running mass vaccination programmes until this deadly disease is stamped out,” says Mike Baker.
Help us end the inhumane culling of dogs in response to rabies. Please join hundreds of thousands of WSPA supporters and celebrity dog-lovers including Ricky Gervais by supporting the Red Collar campaign.
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|Red Collar Campaign||Red Collar Infographic (click to download)