WSAVA Foundation supports Mission Rabies

 

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The WSAVA Foundation, our charitable foundation, is supporting Mission Rabies, a project launched by charity Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS).  It aims to make a difference to the lives of people and the dogs in the world’s hotspot for the disease. We asked Kate Shervell MRCVS, International Director of WVS, to tell us about its plans:  “A third of all human cases of rabies occur in India; a country where someone dies of the disease every 30 minutes and over half of these deaths are in children,” she says.  “More than 99% of cases of human rabies are contracted from an infected dog bite and, in response, hundreds of thousands of dogs are inhumanely killed across India in an attempt to halt the spread of the disease.   Despite this, the spread of rabies continues unabated.”

 

Kate explains that, having seen at first hand the unnecessary suffering and fear that this disease brings, both to people and dogs, WVS CEO Luke Gamble came up with an ambitious plan, drawing on WVS’s vast network of animal welfare advocates across India and with the generous support of sponsors such as the WSAVA Foundation, to tackle rabies at source – by vaccinating Indian dogs to prevent the spread of rabies to people.  Mission Rabies launches in September 2013 with a month-long drive to vaccinate 50,000 dogs across ten of the worst areas for rabies in India, expanding to target two million dogs over the coming three years.

 

 

The program will be supported by a purpose-built, all-terrain mobile veterinary hospital truck which will travel across India providing essential outreach veterinary services and training for Indian vets in humane neutering techniques to allow them to manage local street dog populations.

 

‘Luke Gamble getting the first operations underway on the all-terrain Mission Rabies truck

For the Mission to be a success, veterinary volunteers are being enlisted from across India and around the world to deliver the life-saving vaccines and run surgical training courses in canine neutering.  “This is a real chance for the veterinary profession to give something back and

make a difference to hundreds of thousands of people and dogs across India,” she continues.  “We know that vaccinating 70% or more of the dog population can prevent rabies in people so we want the worldwide veterinary community to get behind this project and help us wipe out this disease for good.”

 

Gabriel Varga, Chair of the WSAVA Foundation, says: “Through the projects we support we aim to improve companion animal care through science and education. 

Mission Rabies is a fantastic initiative which matches our brief perfectly and we are delighted to support Luke and the team.  We are using funds raised during our first ‘Fun(d) Run’ held in Auckland at World Congress to back this project and wish the Mission Rabies team every success!"

 

Pic: Luke Gamble getting the first operations underway on the all-terrain Mission Rabies truck

For more information on Mission Rabies, please visit www.missionrabies.com or contact International Director Kate Shervell at kate@wvs.org.uk