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Sri Lanka


Ending inhumane culling of dogs in Bali: Saving street dogs from strychnine

Killing dogs does not stop rabies. WSPA proved this in Bali: it was vaccination, not poisoning, that halted this preventable disease and reinstated dogs as man’s best friend. We saved 300,000 dogs and proved, once again, that cruelty does nothing but cost lives.

When rabies broke out on the tourist-friendly island of Bali in 2009, authorities acted swiftly to try and stamp it out by strychnine poisoning the roaming dogs. They thought a rabies-free island was a dog-free island.

Tens of thousands of dogs died in agony. It took minute after painful minute for them to die. People mourned the animals. And the problem for the authorities was: it didn’t work.

The Bali Animal Welfare Association and WSPA campaigned together to convince Bali’s government to let us prove what science already shows: vaccination works. Starting with one area of the island, we worked around the clock to treat enough of the dog population to render it safe from rabies, giving each vaccinated dog a distinctive red collar.

The results were striking. And conclusive enough to stop the cull and convince authorities to let us work island-wide. In the first six months, the project saw a more than 45% decrease in cases of canine rabies and a 48% decrease in rabies-related human deaths, when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Alongside this, we taught communities how to recognize signs of rabies in dogs, and how to avoid bites.

Fact overtook fear. Bali’s government has now fully adopted this ground-breaking and effective model of rabies control to protect the future of ALL their inhabitants. 

The reality of a dog cull is horrifically cruel. It doesn’t stop rabies, or save lives. Together, vaccination, education and compassion stop rabies and protect vulnerable dogs.

Demand the end of inhumane culling in the fight against rabies. Join WSPA.

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