years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
The third China Dog Management Symposium discussing suburban dog management and active control and prevention of rabies was successfully held on 15 and 16 September in Shanghai.
The symposium was hosted by Animals Asia and Shanghai Small Animal Protection Association, and co-sponsored by Humane Society International. Attendees included public security bureau dog management representatives, regional veterinary department officials, members of the China Veterinary Medical Association, local animal protection groups, academics and international NGOs, totaling 110 delegates, with representatives from 32 cities.
Speakers outlined the current problems and the humane solutions available to control and ultimately prevent rabies in dogs.
Delegates and speakers at the 3rd China Dog Management Symposium 2011.
Rabies remains a very serious disease in China, with over 2,000 deaths per year. Throughout the workshop participants showed a commitment to addressing the double issues of rabies and dog management in a humane and effective manner. Participants spoke of the need to use education as a key tool for rabies prevention and to involve all sectors of the community in the educational process. They supported working with education experts to develop and deliver effective methods of communication to help reduce dog bite incidents and improve pre and post-exposure rabies care.
Mr Sun Weihu, from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB) described how new regulations implemented in Shanghai have helped to increase the number of registered and vaccinated dogs and reduced the number of dogs confiscated by the authorities. They also provide responsible dog-ownership education and put the emphasis and responsibility onto the owner rather than the dog.
Professor Tang Qing from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention described the increase in rabies in the past 14 years with the majority of cases occurring in Southern China.
Professor Hu from the Veterinary Research Institute, Academy of Military Medical Sciences explained how cross-provincial transportation of dogs has lead to the spread of rabies across the country, largely due to the trade in dogs for food.
Mr Sun Weihu, from Shanghai PSB and Professor Tang Qing from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Professor Hu and Professor Tang Qing appealed for government departments to improve their surveillance to identify rabies cases quickly and take appropriate and humane measures to prevent transmission, and to increase vaccination coverage in rural areas.
Dr Chang from China Veterinary Medical Association talked of the need to integrate animal welfare concepts into both national and regional animal management guidelines and to use public education as a driving force for rabies prevention and control.
Dr Fiona Woodhouse and Vivian Or provided participants with details of how HK SPCA works in partnership with the HK government on rabies prevention initiatives and gave practical advice on rabies prevention and control.
Dr Heather Bacon from Animals Asia and the Jean Marching International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, University of Edinburgh provided a thorough description of rabies epidemiology, transmission and the role of veterinarians in applying their knowledge and skills to help control zoonoses, including rabies, and so break the link between the source of the disease in animals and human infection.
Animals Asia's Dave Neale and Dr Fiona Woodhouse from HK SPCA discuss rabies prevention, care and government co-operation.
David Neale, Animal Welfare Director, Animals Asia Foundation, spoke on behalf of Animals Asia and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control about the need for government departments, veterinary associations, NGOs and community representatives to work in partnership to develop and deliver rabies prevention and control initiatives. He stressed the need for individuals to be the key drivers in this process to bring all stakeholders together to discuss humane dog management solutions for the benefit of dogs and people.
Participants agreed that significant investment in public health and state veterinary training is required to ensure a cohesive and effective approach to rabies prevention and control. Successful rabies control strategies used globally have utilised mass vaccination and humane population control methods such as de-sexing instead of mass dog culling, and as such, should be implemented. Regulation of dog breeding, transport and bio-security should be a national priority and effective pre and post-exposure prophylaxis is essential in reducing human fatalities. Public education is a key tool to be utilised by all parties in rabies prevention and control.