Vets safeguarding animal-welfare and human health across the globe

Vets safeguarding animal-welfare and human health across the globe

Press release

How are vets helping people to stay safe in countries with rabies? Although canine rabies has been eliminated in the UK and across the developed world, it is still a threat in many countries. Statistics indicate that 99% of human rabies cases are transmitted by dog bites, resulting in the deaths o

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tens of millions of people are bitten by dogs every year. Rabies outbreaks and/or dog bites may lead governments to implement inhumane and systematic poisoning or the shooting of dogs either in attempt to alleviate community-based fear of rabies or to reduce numbers of stray dogs.

World Animal Protection and its global team of vets are collaborating with the WHO, the OIE, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) to eliminate rabies without the inhumane culling of dogs by 2030. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommends that dog population management programmes are run by Government Veterinary Services.

World Animal Protection vets are uniting and inspiring better lives for dogs across the globe in the following ways:

  • In Bangladesh, by advocating for Memorandums of Understanding with local authorities to not cull dogs in the name of rabies
  • In North Africa and the Middle East, bringing together Government vets from Morocco, Tunisia and the UAE to begin working together on dog population management issues
  • Through mass vaccination (1 million dog vaccines) and education programmes, in Bangladesh, China, Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, and Zanzibar where there have been no human rabies cases since 2014.

Vets, vet schools and vet students that are not able to work directly in the field to help World Animal Protection prevent and manage rabies can act in other ways such as:

Lobbying their local and national bodies to implement humane dog management programmes

  • Collaborating with local authorities to run neutering/vaccination clinics
  • Increasing awareness of dog bite prevention through ‘World Animal Protection Five Tips to Prevent Dog Bites’ materials
  • Increasing client awareness of responsible ownership in their local communities, including, reproduction control, parasite control, vaccination, responsible acquisition (helping to stop dog abandonment)
  • Become advocates for rehoming rescue dogs
  • Helping to fundraise for World Animal Protection.

Veterinary Programmes Manager at World Animal Protection said: “The veterinary profession knows better than any other, that rabies is a fatal viral infection that is almost 100 per cent preventable. The global veterinary community is uniquely placed to put into action humane and sustainable solutions for rabies prevention and dog population management.

“This veterinary approach embodies the One Health initiative which will help protect and save millions of lives – both animal and human - in our present and future generations. Our campaigns in Africa and Asia could never have been successful without the support and knowledge of the veterinary profession, both in terms of technical knowledge and in advocating for our approach for management of dog populations without the use of cruel culling methods.”     


Note to editors

  • For an interview with a veterinary spokesperson, in Latin America, Africa or Asia Pacific contact: [Insert name of global media team colleague].