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Rabies project celebrates two million dogs vaccinated
WVS has completed the largest ever rabies vaccination drive in Cambodia.
The success will reduce future human cases.

Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS) has announced that over two million dogs have now been vaccinated against rabies globally as part of their Mission Rabies project.

WVS, which is a subsidiary of Dogs Trust, revealed the milestone for World Rabies Day, which is due to be marked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 28 September. World Rabies Day is held annually to raise awareness of the infectious disease, and promote the fight against it.

Once symptomatic, the disease is deadly and untreatable, resulting in the death of a child every nine minutes. It also costs the global economy $8.6bn annually.

The disease is mainly transmitted from dogs, which are responsible for up to 99 per cent of all rabies transmissions to humans.

The vaccination of dogs against rabies is considered the most effective strategy of eliminating the disease, stopping the transmission at its source. It also prevents millions of dogs each year being indiscriminately and inhumanely killed out of fear of the disease.

WVS, as well as the Mission Rabies project, became part of Dogs Trust in May 2023, with the view of advancing the fight against rabies. Together they are operating several initiatives to eliminate human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies, as well as improving animal welfare worldwide.

This included the largest ever rabies vaccination drive in Cambodia, which resulted in more than 75,000 dogs being vaccinated over ten days in the Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.

The group are now aiming to vaccinate 70 per cent of the canine population in endemic countries, which is the coverage needed to eliminate the disease

Luke Gamble, founder and chief executive of WVS, said: “Our pledge is to half the number of human rabies deaths in the next five years and protect hundreds of thousands of dogs.

“We can do this as part of Dogs Trust. The key to eliminating rabies is breaking the cycle of transmission by vaccinating 70 per cent of the dogs in any given project site.”
Karen Reed, executive director of Dogs Trust Worldwide said: “We know that the most effective way to end deaths by rabies is through mass vaccination of dogs.
“We look forward to continuing our important work alongside WVS and with our other partners.
“We hope that one day we can eliminate rabies, saving countless human and canine lives”.

Image © Dogs Trust

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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. 

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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."