The Soi Dog Foundation builds alliances to step up the fight against the dog meat trade and rabies
The Soi Dog Foundation proudly announced that it has officially partnered with the Hanoi Department of Animal Health (DAH) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) to help rid Hanoi of human rabies. transmitted by dogs by 2030.
Dogs on the truck on the way to the slaughterhouse. Photo: Soi Dog Foundation
The announcement was made today (September 28), recognized worldwide as World Rabies Day,
The goal to eliminate the deadly disease in the Vietnamese capital is part of a global effort known as ‘Zero By 30: Global Strategic Plan to End Human Deaths from Dog-mediated Rabies Here 2030″.
Led by GARC, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organization for Animal Health, the plan aims to eradicate human deaths from vehicle-borne rabies by dogs worldwide by the end of the decade.
The disease currently kills around 59,000 people a year, with poor communities in Asia and Africa being the most affected.
The goal also aligns closely with Soi Dog’s ongoing fight to end the dog and cat meat trade in Vietnam. The unregulated transport of dogs and cats – which are snatched from the streets or stolen from their owners – into Hanoi for slaughter is thought to not only contribute to the ongoing transmission of rabies in the city, but actively exacerbate it.
Soi Dog’s ‘Last Country on Earth’ campaign to end the dog and cat meat trade across Asia seeks to capture the nettle of Vietnam’s desire to eradicate rabies by establishing the suspected link between the horrible trade and the entirely preventable but deadly disease.
The foundation’s joint work with DAH and GARC will include strategic rabies vaccination campaigns and outbreak response; routine testing of samples from dog and cat slaughterhouses to establish rabies risk; and education of at-risk communities, including targeted materials for children. The establishment of an active rabies surveillance system will help guide these efforts to ensure that the data collected and actions taken are as effective and accurate as possible.
As part of Soi Dog’s campaign to end the dog and cat meat trade in Thailand between 2011 and 2014, co-founder John Dalley MBE told government officials across Southeast Asia Is: “Stopping the dog and cat meat trade will not eliminate rabies, but I guarantee you that if we don’t stop this trade, we will never eliminate rabies” – an argument that still holds today today.
Soi Dog succeeded in ending the trade in Thailand, and its large-scale sterilization and vaccination program was a major contributing factor to the decline in rabies cases in the country. Nearly 800,000 dogs and cats have been neutered and vaccinated under the program (known as CNVR – Catch, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return) since 2003, efforts which have been recognized by the Thai royal family and government Thai.
The foundation looks forward to continuing this work in Vietnam for the benefit of animals and humans.