Sri Lanka, Bali, and Thailand have successfully brought down the number of rabies-related human deaths through mass dog vaccination campaigns, improved accessibility to human rabies vaccine and serum and an effective vaccine delivery system. On the Island of Bali they have already begun the Collars not Cruelty campaign. Not only are the dogs on the street getting vaccinated the fact that they now sport a brand new red collar has helped in the human dog relationship on the Island. People who see the red collar on the dogs know that they do not carry the potentially fatal disease they can start to view dogs as friendly companions instead of vicious deadly animals.
In partnership with the Balinese government, the first island-wide mass vaccination program, launched on World Rabies Day last year. In the first phase of the campaign, approximately 210,000 dogs about 70% of the total estimated population were vaccinated and given their red collar. In the first six months they saw dog related rabies cases down 45% and human rabies cases down by 48%.
“I think it’s absolutely horrific that 20 million dogs are killed every year because of the fear of rabies when there is an alternative solution,” said WSPA celebrity supporter Leona Lewis. “I really want to help WSPA 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 Fact for World Rabies Day:
*Rabies is an acute viral encephalitis transmitted from an infected animal to human by exposure to saliva
*Once clinical symptoms have occurred, the disease is almost invariably fatal
*Rabies is most common in people aged below 15 years
*Over 96% of these human rabies cases are due to bites from rabid dogs of which 11% are due to rabid pet dog bites
*The majority of these dogs are stray
*The animal bite incidence has been estimated to be 1.7%, with a total of 17 million bites every year
*Globally, an estimated 10 million are treated each year after being bitten by dogs
*Rabies is the 10th most common cause of death from infections in humans
When you give your dog a new collar, it means you care. When WSPA gives a dog a red collar, it saves lives. Join with Two Little Cavaliers and become a Red Collar Ambassador to educate the world in replacing cruelty with red collars: a symbol of vaccination, safety and hope. If you are on twitter consider adding the hashtag #RedCollar to your tweets today to help spread the word about World Rabies Day and the Red Collar Campaign.
Felissa Elfenbein is the author and creator of Two Little Cavaliers. She loves to travel and so do her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Davinia and Indiana. We have lived in NYC, Florida, Georgia, Berlin, Germany, & Hong Kong.
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