Our challenges though big are not insurmountable. We want to keep things simple and effective by using methods and strategies that already work.
Long-term sterilisation efforts in Nepal’s hill and low-lying districts have proven that sustained sterilisation efforts in a focussed area is effective in reducing community dog populations. One procedure takes just 30 minutes but remains effective for a dog’s lifetime, as long as 7-10 years in the Himalaya. We want to mobilise a veterinary team into the Himalaya each year, for a period of three years for each district. It is essential that we return to sterilise and vaccinate the animals consistently, as dogs left un-neutered repopulate rapidly.
1) Reduce aggression (toward other dogs as well as wildlife, livestock, and people)
2) Reduce urine marking, thus reducing human-dog conflict
3) Reduce roaming behavior, thus reducing potential for contact with wildlife and disease transmission
4) Reduce injuries/infections from dog fights, and
5) Control and prevent the spread of rabies
Rabies vaccinations for dogs is the first step in preventing disease spread and outbreaks. Programmes focussed mainly on the mass vaccinations of dogs is largely justified by the future savings of human rabies prevention programmes. Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that where more than 80% of community dogs are vaccinated against rabies, the occurrence of human rabies promptly cease. Through the provision of rabies vaccinations, we connect with dog owners to educate them about rabies control and prevention.
Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Anti-Rabies Vaccination Programmes are WHO recommended programmes for humane control of stray dogs and rabies transmission to humans.