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Posted: 23rd September 2020

Animal health experts unite for World Rabies Day
Rabies kills more than 60,000 people every year.
Webinar to share best practice in the humane management of the disease.
Leading animal health experts have teamed up to produce two webinar episodes discussing the importance of humane management and animal welfare in the global fight against rabies.

Launching to coincide with World Rabies Day (28 September), the Webinars will bring together stakeholders from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE); the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) and World Animal Protection.

Among the topics to be explored include the welfare, management and One Health issues that need to be considered when developing rabies control programmes. The Webinars will also explore the importance of collaboration between stakeholders to eradicate human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030.

The first webinar – timed to suit animal health professionals in Asia and Oceania - will see Dr Rey del Napoles from the Philippine Animal Hospital Association present a case study of its rabies control initiatives. His talk will be followed by Dr Luuk Schoonman from FAO in Indonesia, who will discuss its rabies programs in Bali.

The second webinar – timed to suit animal health professionals in Europe, Africa and the Americas – will include talks from Dr Matthew Stone, deputy director-general, International Standards and Science at the OIE, and Dr Sarah Cleaveland, a member of the WSAVA’s One Health Committee. Dr Rauna Athingo from WSAVA member the Veterinary Association of Namibia will present a case study of its recent rabies control programs.

Webinar host and WSAVA president, Dr Shane Ryan, said: “In a year dominated by COVID-19, it’s easy to forget that rabies, a much-neglected disease, still kills more than 60,000 people a year, many of them children.

“We hope discussions during our webinars will help to share best practice, particularly in the important areas of humane management and welfare. We also hope that they will inspire veterinary professionals around the world to participate in initiatives to control the disease and give them a deeper understanding of the welfare and One Health issues involved.”

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