Helping governments to manage dog populations humanely and to vaccinate against rabies, instead of culling animals - especially dogs.
We need to protect animals in communities
Animals in communities - primarily dogs - are often culled due to rabies and other diseases infectious to humans. We ran a programme of campaigns over a ten year period to promote communities in countries without easy access to vaccinations, vets or funding to care for their animals.
Here are just five of our biggest campaign successes for dogs since Better lives for dogs launched:
- Over one million vaccinations given to dogs: From Sierra Leone to the Philippines, we’ve worked with governments to administer over one million rabies vaccinations to dogs. This means countless people have been protected from rabies, and many more dogs have been protected from the threat of violent culls in its name.
- Putting Zanzibar on the path to eliminating rabies for good: Zanzibar is home to 10,000 dogs. Before our intervention, dogs were indiscriminately shot in response to rabies outbreaks. We supported the government to vaccinate dogs and improve responsible dog ownership on the island. No human rabies cases have been reported on the island since 2013, and dogs are no longer culled in attempts to control the disease.
- Kenya announces Africa’s first ever rabies elimination strategy: Kenya bears the burden of an estimated 2,000 human rabies cases. Outbreaks of rabies were previously met with random, ineffective vaccination of dogs, coupled with shooting and poisoning. In 2014, we worked with the government to write an effective and humane strategy to eliminate the disease through vaccination and population management. We are working in Makueni county, which has one of the highest rates of rabies in Kenya, to show that this approach is effective. So far, we’ve vaccinated over 50,000 dogs against rabies and trained 59 teachers, four Senior Education Officers and four Veterinary and Livestock Extension Officers on responsible dog ownership, dog bite prevention and rabies elimination.
- A brighter future for China’s dogs: We vaccinated over 90,000 dogs in three pilot sites in China to prove that vaccination is more effective than the inhumane culling dogs. And the proof is in the pudding, with no human rabies cases being reported in any of the vaccination sites. The successes of the project are being used to draft national guidelines on controlling rabies across the country.
- Putting an end to dog poisoning in Bangladesh: Bangladesh used to have one of the highest rates of human rabies cases in the world. Bangladeshi authorities responded by killing as many dogs as they could. We lobbied the government to put an end to this ineffective and inhumane approach. Since 2011, we have worked with the government to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of dogs. And human rabies deaths are rapidly falling. We have also worked to get agreement from local governments that culling will not be part of rabies control in their areas, meaning no dogs will face violent deaths in the name of rabies.