Promoting animal welfare, protecting human health

Aug 8, 2008

WSPA already works with member societies in Brazil to improve the welfare of domestic animals; this clinic is run by Defensores dos Animais

In the last 10 years, over 75% of the diseases that reached people were caused by infections from animals or animal products. Recognizing that better care for animals will also help prevent the development of diseases that can be passed to humans, WSPA and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) are working together for change.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations, signed on July 28, commits to working together to promote animal welfare – in particular looking at the issues for stray and unwanted pets and domestic animals – and to monitor and prevent diseases that can pass from animals to humans.

PAHO, a regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), was represented by Director of the Pan-American Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Dr. Albino Belotto, and WSPA by Director General Peter Davies.

This agreement has realistic, practical goals for animal welfare. Mônica Almeida, Veterinary Programs Officer for WSPA Brazil, commented:

“We know that this approach can work. In Brazil the national rabies vaccination program for dogs, educational campaigns in rabies prevention, and reduction in unwanted puppies through spay and neuter initiatives have led to a 95% reduction in human rabies transmitted by dogs during the last 25 years.”

This exciting opportunity for positive change highlights the fundamental links between animals and humans. Read more about improving animal welfare, the benefits for people and the environment, and how you can help >>

Read more about WSPA’s work with stray animals >>

Find out more about caring for pets >>

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia