left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

China can wipe out rabies, says campaigner

Updated: 2014-09-29 10:57
By Wang Qian (chinadaily.com.cn)

China can achieve its goal of eliminating rabies nationwide by 2015 if it adopts proper control measures, according to a leading animal protection campaigner.

China Central Television host Zhang Yue, the head Beijing’s TA Federation for Animal Protection, said rabies is 100 percent preventable.

"Dog vaccination is an effective and cheap way to prevent rabies, but China spends a lot of money on human vaccination, which costs much more,"she added.

Sunday was World Rabies Day, and the federation joined forces with World Animal Protection to raise awareness about the disease. Supporters of the campaign wore gray ribbons.

The federation says that if 70 percent of dogs were vaccinated against rabies, the number of people who caught the disease would fall dramatically.

Expert Hu Rongliang said the United States spends $300 million on vaccinating dogs every year and has virtually eliminated the disease, while China spends more than 42 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) on vaccinating humans, yet every year more than 2,000 people die here from the disease. Local authorities in China initiate massive campaigns to slaughter dogs when outbreaks occur. The latest outbreak happened in Baoshan, Yunnan province, in early September, and nearly 5,000 dogs were killed.

Hu said killing thousands of dogs cannot prevent the disease, because infected dogs are often abandoned and cannot be traced easily.

"If you cannot find the infected dogs, then a slaughter program, no matter how large scale it is, will be a failure,"Hu said.

Rabies prevention is a major concern in China as the country has the second-largest number of reported cases in the world. There have been more than 2,000 deaths on average each year for the past decade, according to the World Health Organization.

The annual World Rabies Day, Sept 28, was established in 2008 as an international campaign coordinated by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, a non-profit organization.

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.