The World Society for the Protection of Animals and the American Veterinary Medical Association are among the organizations making special efforts to mark World Rabies Day today.
One year after launching its Collars Not Cruelty campaign, the WSPA is expanding its efforts to Senegal, the Philippines and Indonesia. The campaign involves vaccinating stray dogs and affixing them with a red collar to alert locals that the dogs are not rabies carriers.
Stray dogs account for 90 percent of human exposures to rabies and more than 99 percent of human deaths worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 20 million dogs are killed every year in an attempt to stop rabies, the WSPA reported.
Meanwhile, the AVMA partnered with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control to produce a multilingual video titled “Rabies: Simple Steps Save Lives.” The 10-minute video, available in English and with French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and English subtitles, will be used globally to educate people about what rabies is and how exposure can be prevented. It is available online here.
“We’re hoping that through this public education and outreach effort that we can reduce the number of deaths due to rabies around the world, and remind the U.S. population about the dangers of interacting with stray and wild animals,” said Doug Asporos, DVM, president of the AVMA.
Another organization using media to raise awareness about rabies is Animal Friends of Pittsburgh, which sponsored a rabies teleconference this morning with local school districts. The video conference, titled “Rabies: Not a One-Shot Deal,” featured Erin Moore, DVM, of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Health; Chinny Krishna, Ph.D., of Blue Cross India; and Steve Stoehr, the Allegheny County, Pa., dog warden.
Dozens of other organizations worldwide are hosting free and low-cost pet vaccination events. A full listing can be viewed on the World Rabies Day website.