International animal welfare organisation, FOUR PAWS, has surpassed its goal of vaccinating 50,000 dogs and cats against rabies in Myanmar. In two months, the team vaccinated 58,386 animals.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), around 1,000 people die as a result of infectious dog bites in Myanmar each year. As is common in many countries, authorities often kill stray dogs because of the fear of rabies and lack of available information.
FOUR PAWS started the mass vaccination program together with local and international authorities in Myanmar to stop the unnecessary murder of strays and to save the lives of humans threatened by infectious bites.
During the pilot project, the dedicated FOUR PAWS team of 40 people, including local and international veterinarians and partner organisations, vaccinated over 34,000 dogs and cats in 275 villages around the capital Naypyidaw, as well as over 23,000 animals in the ancient city of Bagan.
“Our fight against rabies continues. We have committed to vaccinate 50,000 animals per year in the next five years. FOUR PAWS will continue to provide expertise and know-how to develop a sustainable and efficient rabies program in Myanmar.”
Dr Amir Khalil, FOUR PAWS veterinarian and Project Leader
Long-term fight against rabies
Rabies remains a dangerous threat and the fight to eradicate it is crucial. In order to support this mission, FOUR PAWS launched the ambitious vaccination project along with the 'Don’t wait vaccinate – Together we save lives' campaign.
By vaccinating almost 60,000 animals, the FOUR PAWS pilot project has reinforced Myanmar's and WHO’s goal to eradicate rabies by 2030. This is a challenging task, as according to Myanmar’s Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, there are an estimated four million dogs in the country. The Veterinary Department, Blue Cross volunteers as well as local NGO 'Mingalar Myanmar' are involved in the FOUR PAWS mission.
In the framework of the project, FOUR PAWS is training local teams in sustainable rabies prevention, the proper handling of strays, and safe dog and cat-catching techniques.
Additionally, visits to the affected communities and the ongoing FOUR PAWS public awareness campaign have already created a positive impact among local people as well as in the region and will continue to do so as the project is implemented.
For more information: FOUR PAWS to vaccinate 50,000 stray dogs against rabies in Myanmar
FOUR PAWS is an international animal protection organisation with headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Founded by Heli Dungler in 1988, the organisation strives to help animals in need through work which is based on substantiated research and scientific expertise, as well as national and international lobbying. FOUR PAWS focuses on animals who suffer under human influence: stray animals, animals used in fashion, companion animals, wild animals and farmed animals.
With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam, FOUR PAWS aims to help animals in need directly and quickly. www.four-paws.org.au