Campaign saves animals, protects communities, and prevents human
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian animal lovers from all walks of
life are supporting international efforts to eradicate rabies by having
their pets sport a red collar or by making a donation to the World
Society for the Protection of Animals' (WSPA) Collars Not Cruelty campaign. High profile Canadian and international supporters include fashion
designer David Dixon, singer Leona Lewis, comedian Ricky Gervais,
supermodel Liisa Winkler, and provincial and federal MPPs and MPs.
Launched in 2011, the Collars Not Cruelty campaign is a global
initiative to establish humane dog vaccination programs in countries
where dogs are killed in response to rabies outbreaks or fear of
rabies. So far, the campaign has saved more than 300,000 dogs from
cruel and unnecessary deaths. WSPA works with local authorities to set
up clinics where dogs are vaccinated and given a bright red collar so
the community knows they are safe. Successful vaccination clinics have
been launched in Sri Lanka, Latin America, Bali, Bangladesh, the
Philippines and Indonesia. Most recently, WSPA started vaccination
programs in Africa and China, where human deaths from rabies are the
Rabies can be controlled through mass vaccination programs. In 1983,
Latin America committed to eliminating rabies through mass dog
vaccination. Vaccination programs have seen dog rabies cases in the
region decline from a peak of 25,000 in 1977 to just 196 in 2011 - a
decrease of over 99 per cent. These results have encouraged other
governments and communities to undertake similar programs.
"When confronted with a rabies outbreak, governments begin killing the
dog population to try and stop the spread. We know this is ineffective
and cruel," said Josey Kitson, Executive Director of WSPA Canada.
"Animal culls do not prevent the spread of rabies, but with mass
vaccination and community education, rabies is 100% preventable. A
world without rabies doesn't have to be a world without dogs."
"As a dog lover, it breaks my heart that millions of innocent animals
are killed needlessly out of fear," said fashion designer and campaign
supporter David Dixon. "I'm proud to support a campaign that enables
local animal lovers to save dogs across the globe."
This year, more than 55,000 people will die of rabies and over 20
million dogs will be cruelly killed in misguided attempts to stop the
spread of the disease.
Rabies costs approximately $6 billion USD a year worldwide. A fraction
of that investment can vaccinate the dog population to the immunity
level necessary to prevent the spread of the disease (70 per cent of
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described such vaccination
campaigns as "globally, the most cost-effective strategy for preventing
rabies in people".
About the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
The World Society for the Protection of Animals has worked to expose
animal cruelty and prevent animal suffering for more than 30 years.
Working with individuals, organizations and governments across the
globe, our campaign work ranges from putting animals at the heart of
farming to protecting animals in disasters. Consultative status with
the United Nations means we have a unique international platform to
prove that the lives of animals are inextricably linked to our own, and
now more than ever is the time to stop their suffering.
SOURCE: World Society for the Protection of Animals
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