Sri Lanka volunteers combat rabies

Oct 01, 2011 (LBO) – Volunteers in Sri Lanka are teaming up to combat rabies spread with free vaccinations which can save lives and also make a dent in 500 million rupees spent each year to treat dog bite victims. Dozens of volunteers teamed up on a hot Sunday afternoon to offer free rabies vaccination for cats and dogs in the Athurugiriya area, to mark World Rabies Day which fell on Wednesday September 28.

Scores of cats and dogs were brought in plastic baskets, cardboard boxes, three-wheeler tuk tuks, motorbikes, bicycles or by foot to a camp run by the Lions Club of Battaramulla and the Animal Welfare Protection Association.

The day-long programme, vaccinated 88 dogs. A further 30 dogs and nine cats were sterilised.

Sri Lanka’s dog population was 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 the country.

Since 2006, the killing of stray dogs have been banned, but the government spends over 500 million rupees a year, to treat dog bit