Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Communities Against Rabies initiative to help vaccination effort
The WECare centre has been helping Sri Lankan communities on the ground, vaccinating pets, strays, and street dogs against the disease.
The project helps local communities tackle rabies infections.

A new project is set to support local communities with tackling the spread of rabies, to help protect thousands of dogs from the risk of infection.

The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) launched the Communities Against Rabies initiative, which is supported by a Battersea Grant, on 27 August 2023 in a move to incorporate community level action into the global effort to eliminate rabies.

Battersea has announced the latest progress of the project to mark World Rabies Day (28 September), which acknowledges the work of organisations and charities across the world as they work towards complete eradication of the infectious disease.

GARC say its project is galvanised by the estimated 59,000 people that die of rabies infections each year, of which 95 per cent occur in poorer, rural regions of Africa and Asia. It believes that this is due to the vaccines not reaching the communities that need them.

To tackle the problem, Communities Against Rabies is focusing on empowering communities and societies to control rabies using One Health and proven best practices.

The initiative includes the training of ‘Dog Health Champions’, which are to become the first dog-health focused workforce for rabies elimination. Once trained, they will educate their communities on dog health and welfare, rabies vaccinations and surveillance.

It also involves the certification of Rabies Centers of Excellence (RCEs), which will connect and collaborate through the Partners for Community Dog Health programme with similar organisations to ensure effective sharing of resources and co-ordination.

These centres will have additional capacity building, resources and financial support to help with their rabies elimination efforts.

Since the project started, two centres have already been certified: WECare Worldwide in Sri Lanka and Animal Relief for Rural Communities (ARRC) in South Africa.

The WECare centre has been working on the ground, vaccinating pets, strays, and street dogs against the disease. This included eighteen month old Lassie, who was vaccinated alongside four dogs and two cats in her household before it was recorded on the GARC rabies surveillance app.

Meanwhile the South African centre, AARC, has been conducting crucial rabies vaccinations and education work in the community of Limpopo. Limpopo previously had no formal veterinary support for rabies prevention and a limited public health service for humans, so support from Communities Against Rabies was particularly important.

GARC believes that their new initiative will continue to address shortcomings in the global effort to completely eradicating rabies infections by 2030.

Professor Louis Nel, executive director of GARC, said: “While there has been significant progress in recent years, a lack of co-ordination, reliable data, and investment has prevented the ‘last mile’ of rabies elimination, particularly at the local level.

“The Communities Against Rabies initiative addresses these historic shortcomings by pioneering a new global grassroots movement, equipping rabies-affected communities with the coordination, expertise, and tools needed to achieve rabies elimination.”

Image © Battersea

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."