Animals Asia joins experts and leaders to combat rabies in China

28 September 2021

Animals Asia has been raising awareness of cat and dog sentience and actively working to improve conditions for companion animals in Asia for almost 25 years. 

In that time we have developed strong relationships with local rescue groups, shelters and animal welfare volunteers across China, and supported government departments and officials as they work to strengthen animal welfare and related human health policies.

Vaccinating stray, community and domestic dogs and cats against rabies is a big part of our China Cat and Dog Welfare programme. According to the World Health Organisation, rabies is a prevalent and devastating disease that kills tens of thousands of people and animals every year, with 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia. Of these cases, approximately 99% are acquired from the bite of an infected dog.

Our collaborative, consistent and successful approach led us last year to become the only NGO to have a representative appointed as a member of the Rabies Prevention and Control Committee of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, whose aim is to eradicate rabies in the country by 2030.

Animals Asia’s committee spokesperson, Suki Deng

Suki Deng, Animals Asia’s Director of China Cat and Dog Welfare is our expert spokesperson and has the important role of updating the committee on Animals Asia’s achievements and progress in rabies prevention and control in the country. 

Suki joined Animals Asia in 2006 and has been a relentless force in improving conditions for cats and dogs and advocating for companion animal welfare in the country ever since.

With a deep understanding of Chinese society, culture and traditions, Suki and her team have formulated sympathetic yet targeted strategies to increase public awareness of animal sentience and companion animal welfare. 

She said, “I firmly believe that in the near future, the concept of caring for animals and treating sentient beings with kindness will become part of our daily lives and culture.”

Working together to end rabies in China

Earlier this year, Suki attended and spoke at the Rabies Prevention and Control Conference in Beijing as a member of the Rabies Prevention and Control Committee. She worked with them to develop a framework for a future white paper for action across mainland China. 

Animals Asia’s contribution to the white paper will be on animal immunisation in stray animal shelters, as well as the formulation and implementation of dog ownership management regulations across the country.

Suki also took part in the 2021 Annual Conference of Rabies of China and updated the leaders and committee members on Animals Asia’s progress in this field, and discussed how we will work together with the government to educate the public on rabies prevention and control. 

World Rabies Day activities

For World Rabies Day and as part of our ongoing activities to prevent and control rabies, Suki and her team are running public events in Chengdu, Guangzhou and Nanning.

The open events are an opportunity for the public to get free rabies vaccinations for their cats and dogs and learn more about companion animal welfare. Our team is on hand available to answer any questions the public may have about caring for an animal, how to understand its needs and what to do in the event of a rabies diagnosis. 

Changing hearts in China through kindness

Animals Asia’s empathetic approach and collaborative way of working with the authorities, NGOs and local communities has yielded a remarkable shift in attitude towards our best animal friends in China.

Animals Asia supports government departments and officials as they work to strengthen animal welfare policies and we host conferences for officials and volunteer groups to share information, expertise and best practice for improving conditions for companion animals. 

In addition to our campaign to improve the lives of animals in Asia, our successful Dr Dog and Professor Paws and Professor Paws Outreach programmes have won the hearts of people of all ages right across the country. We’ve seen many communities truly embracing dogs as the wonderful friends and individuals they are. 

And with the removal of dogs (and by default, cats) from China’s National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources making their sale for consumption illegal, our hopes for the future of our canine and feline companions in China grows ever-more positive. 

Read more:

Animals Asia becomes first NGO to join Rabies Prevention and Control Committee in China

Starfire receives rabies vaccine in a new trial to improve bear health and welfare