Naivasha rabies panic
The Daily Nation, the leading newspaper in Kenya, on May 8, 2014 announced that “A campaign to eliminate stray dogs has been launched in Naivasha,” a town approximately 110 kilometers from Nairobi.
“Sub-county veterinary officer Enos Anuyunzu said all stray dogs would be eliminated within Naivasha and Masi Mahiu, as well as in adjacent estates,” the article continued. “Last year, he said, several cases of rabies were reported, prompting launch of the current exercise.”
ANAW learned that 105 dogs had already been killed using strychnine poisoning.
ANAW is completely opposed to killing dogs as a rabies control measure. Killing dogs does not solve the problem, as leading international organizations involved in rabies control have advised for more than 40 years. Instead, killing the dogs in one neighborhood only creates a vacuum that will soon be filled by dogs from nearby areas.
We immediately contacted the government veterinary officers concerned, and won a commitment that all killings have been stopped until our team can visit the area and determine the way forward.
We plan to ask for spay/neuter and anti-rabies vaccination as a humane dog population control measure; and as a long term solution, we are targeting 5, 000 dogs and donkeys.
––Grace Thuo, executive assistant
Africa Network for Animal Welfare
Mahi-mahiu Rd • 1st Floor, West-End Place
P.O. Box 3731-00506, Nairobi, Kenya
ANAW in 2006-2007 stopped a rabies outbreak in Isiolo, Kenya, that had crossed from dogs to donkeys and then spread through donkeys biting each other. This was among the few instances on record of herbivorous animals becoming a primary rabies vector.
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