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  Home >> Animal Issues - Stray Dogs >> Dog Population Management & Canine Rabies Control 


Dog Population Management & Canine Rabies Control 
India’s Official Dog Control Program in an international context

India has 80% of the world’s rabies fatalities according to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). This figure has changed little in the last couple of
decades. The W.H.O. identifies the largest reservoir of rabies in India as the dog population (Att.2: pg.10,11, para.#1). 

The AWBI funded Animal Birth Control (ABC) Program, now implemented in over 13 cities by various Animal Welfare Organizations (AWOs) has been promoted in India since 1994 as one recommended by the W.H.O. (Att.9: pg.1). 

The W.H.O. Program was developed in association with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (W.S.P.A.) and is in fact distinct in every way, from the current Program followed in India (Att.1,2,3&4). In a letter to a prominent social activist, the W.H.O. South East Asia Regional Office distanced themselves from the Indian Animal Birth Control Program (Att.8). Further, they stated that all Member Governments (including India) had accepted the W.H.O. strategy for rabies elimination, which can be stated in a single sentence: promote and enforce pet control laws, undertake sustained re-immunization and eliminate unwanted dogs (Att.2).

Plans developed by the W.H.O. to prevent and control the transmission of rabies have also always included activities aimed at reducing stray dog populations and in particular urge Governments to give greatest encouragement to the identification and neutering of household dogs (Att.1: pg.7, para.#4 and pg.84, para.#1,2). 

In 1998, the W.H.O. stated, ‘The lack of a comprehensive strategy and effective intersectoral coordination, coupled with obstructive socio-cultural and religious myths have resulted in perpetuation of the rabies problem in India.’ (Att.2: pg.10, para.#10).

This compilation highlights critical lapses in the design and implementation of the A.W.B.I.’s ABC Program and it’s distinction from the W.H.O. Dog Control Program. 

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