Our Animal Birth Control & Immunization Program has made Jaipur Rabies Free.
Rabies kills about 25,000 people in India every year and 95% of human rabies cases are caused by a rabid dog’s bite. For many years, the Jaipur Municipal Corporation cruelly poisoned the street dogs of Jaipur with strychnine. However, rabies was not eliminated. The only humane way to address the dreaded rabies problem is by vaccinating the street dogs and controlling their numbers by surgical sterilisation so they do not reproduce.
The purpose of the ABC Programme is to create a friendly, stable, rabies-free street dog population. Every week, street dogs are humanely caught from a pre-identified location. At our hospital, they are vaccinated, sterilised, and identified with ear mark. After their recovery, they are returned to the place from which they were captured on the street.
We concentrate our ABC sterilisation efforts on females since they are responsible for population growth. However, to increase coverage of rabies vaccination of the street dog population, we also catch, vaccinate and mark male street dogs. Currently, more than 3,500 street dogs are sterilized and vaccinated each year and more than 5,000 are vaccinated.
Our ABC and Vaccination Programme has brought down human dog-bite cases from 7.2 per thousand human population in 1998 to 2.2 per thousand now. More than 150,000 dogs have passed through the Programme and we have averted more than 500 human rabies deaths and 3,60,000 dog-bite injuries since 1994. An independent assessment based on WHO guidelines found that for every $1 spent on our ABC work, the societal benefit to the people of Jaipur has been US $58.4.
Our Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Vaccination Programme, which started in 1994 under WHO-WSPA Guidelines, has reduced the number of human rabies cases in Jaipur to nearly zero.
The street dogs of Jaipur are healthier and in better condition than those in cities without an ABC programme. Visitors to Jaipur report the street dogs here look extremely healthy and friendly, and this is in sharp contrast with other cities and towns where ABC programmes are not in operation. Most people in Jaipur accept the presence of the street dogs, knowing they are now safe and healthy.
More than 70% of female street dogs are now sterilized and vaccinated against rabies. More than 70% of the entire street dog population has been vaccinated against rabies. Both these figures are above those cited necessary to control the population and rabies transmission.
We have the most comprehensive data on street dog biology and the impact of an ABC Programme anywhere. Help in Suffering has continuously collected data on the effects of our Programme.
As a result of the expertise we have developed and reputation we have earned through this ABC work we have:-
- Assisted the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in producing its standard operating procedures for ABC programmes.
- Participated and shared knowledge in conferences and workshops of the FAO, Commonwealth Veterinary Association, Humane Society Expo, Association for the Prevention and Control of Rabies in India, and other forums.
- Shown scientifically that :-
- ABC work will reduce the street dog population by at least 50%;
- dramatically reduce human rabies cases;
- reduce human dog bites by 5-600 cases per month;
- improve the health of all the street dogs;
- and that killing street dogs is the worst method of population control.
- Demonstrated novel population surveying techniques.
The ABC Programme is funded by Dogs’ Trust Worldwide, a leading canine welfare charity. Their support for several years, and that of all our friends, has enabled this vital animal welfare, human health and One Health project to succeed.