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Working in partnership in China to promote our proven canine rabies solution

Oct 11, 2013

WSPA-trained workers from the local Animal Disease Control Centre vaccinating a dog against rabies during the launch of a new mass dog vaccination pilot project in Jieshou City, Anhui Province. The red collar shows local people that the dog has been vaccinated against this deadly disease.

Every year, thousands of people die due to rabies, a deadly but preventable disease. Over 99% of these deaths are caused by a bite from an infected dog. Many governments around the world try to stop this disease by killing thousands of dogs, but the evidence shows that killing dogs – no matter how many – does not eliminate the disease. 

The only effective way to stop this disease spreading is by making dogs our protectors – by vaccinating 70% of a dog population against the disease, a barrier is created which stops rabies spreading between dogs, meaning it will eventually die out – eliminating the main threat to humans.

WSPA is calling for governments to change policy and practice from dog culling to the humane and sustainable solution – mass dog vaccination. In 2012, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) jointly signed a cooperation agreement with the China Animal Disease Control Centre (CADC) to deliver its Collars Not Cruelty campaign. This landmark agreement is introducing advanced rabies prevention and control technology to China, adapted to the local situation, with the aim of avoiding the needless culling of dogs in the name of rabies.

This program was formally launched in Jieshou City of Anhui Province on September 12 2013, and will also be launched in Tongzhi County of Guizhou Province and Hancheng City of Shaanxi Province on a pilot basis. During the next two years, scientific rabies prevention and control solutions will be developed according to local conditions and these technologies will be promoted throughout China based on the achievements and experiences gained in the pilot vaccination areas.

According to a report jointly released by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Agriculture and State Food and Drug Administration, more than 2,400 people die from rabies in China each year – second only to India in the world. More than 110,000 rabies-related deaths have been reported in China since 1950. A scientific solution for the prevention and treatment of rabies is urgently necessary for the protection of public health. 

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