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Sri Lanka’s rabies crisis

Sri Lanka’s rabies crisis being addressed by the country’s first international conference on stray dog control Sri Lanka’s rabies crisis has been addressed last weekend by an international conference on humane stray dog control, with the aim of devising an action plan to eradicate this disease. Despite the fact that local authorities kill around 100,000 stray dogs annually, rabies currently claims the lives of almost 150 people each year in Sri Lanka.

It was funded by UN-recognised charity the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and organised with the help of the Kandy Association for Community Protection through Animal Welfare (KACPAW), one of WSPA’s member societies.

The conference covered a variety of issues, including animal welfare legislation, humane and effective methods of stray control, registration of pet animals and the training of animal wardens.

It was followed by practical training sessions on neutering and humane dog catching and handling techniques.

Trevor Wheeler, WSPA’s Director for Companion Animals, said, “Stray animals are a global problem, particularly in countries where rabies is present. In many countries, stray animals are indiscriminately caught and killed by a variety of inhumane methods including shooting, poisoning, hanging and electrocution. The fact that Sri Lanka has taken the decision to find a long-term humane method of managing this problem is a clear indication of the proactive, compassionate and progressive attitude of the government.”