Marking World Rabies Day with vaccination project

Saturday, 1 October 2011 00:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 Dozens of volunteers teamed up on a hot Sunday afternoon last week to offer free rabies vaccination for cats and dogs in the Athurugiriya area, to mark World Rabies Day that was on Wednesday, 28 September.

Scores of cats and dogs were brought in plastic baskets, cardboard boxes, tuk tuks, motorbikes, bicycles or by foot, in all shapes, sizes and colours of black, brown, white or gray. Accompanied by their owners, the animals first checked-in at the registration desk staffed by volunteers from the Lions Club of Battaramulla and the Animal Welfare Protection Association.

They were later separated for vaccinations or prepared for the sterilisation operation. The day-long programme, vaccinated 88 dogs and a further 30 dogs and nine cats were sterilised.

Sri Lanka's dog population is estimated at 2.5 million despite attempts at sterilisation to keep the numbers down. The Health Ministry estimates between 2,000 and 2,500 people are bitten each day by stray dogs, and there is one dog for every eight humans in our country.

Since 2006, the killing of stray dogs have been banned, but the government spends over 500 million rupees a year, to treat dog bite victims, health ministry figures show.