Street dogs are an integral part of our society and urban ecosystems. They are sentient beings who have enriched our lives with their companionship for many generations, and their right to a life free of pain is endorsed by the Indian Constitution.

However, human-dog conflict has been on the rise in the country for decades. Irresponsible waste disposal, dumping of meat on streets by illegal meat shops and improper population control measures has led to increased street-dog numbers over the years. Additionally, some sections of the press have created a biased narrative that has planted seeds of ignorance and fueled fear in the minds of the public. All of the above factors have played a role in the displacement of dogs from their territories, furthering the unethical and cruel killing of dogs - in clear violation of the Supreme Court orders and Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.

Another aspect, central to human-dog conflict is rabies. A fatal disease that leads to around 20,000 deaths annually, in India, rabies disproportionately affects vulnerable populations and involves huge social, political and health costs for our society – harming both humans and animals. However, the important thing to note here is that it is a 100% preventable disease.

Misinformation about the disease, lack of political will and resource unavailability, have heightened the fear of this disease and led to an irrational fear of dogs. To tackle the problem of rabies, governments and the public have historically resorted to the killing of dogs. Apart from being inhumane and illegal, such myopic solutions are ineffective and have not resolved the problem of rabies or dog-bites.

FIAPO believes that the relationship between humans and dogs can be a harmonious one, based on scientifically proven, legally sanctioned, and socially relevant conflict management strategies. ‘Rabies Free India’ is FIAPO’s nation-wide campaign that aims to create a dog-bite and rabies free society, through a multidimensional approach by involving various government departments, NGOs, and communities. In pursuance of this, FIAPO supports the ‘End Rabies Now’ initiative, and aims to bring about necessary interventions that will ensure India keeps up its commitments of the ‘SAARC Roadmap for Rabies Control’– which seeks to eliminate rabies by 2020.

Aligned with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘One Health’ approach and their joint statement "Educate, Vaccinate and Eliminate", FIAPO aims to facilitate human-dog conflict management through the following:

  • Animal health component:
    1. Animal Birth Control (ABC) for dogs
    2. Anti-Rabies Vaccination (ARV) for dogs
    3. Responsible pet ownership
  • Human health component:
    1. Education on dog-bite and rabies prevention
    2. Counselling of dog-bite victims
    3. Easily accessible and affordable Post-rabies Prophylaxis (PEP)
    4. Training of professionals – doctors, counsellors, etc.
  • Intersectoral approach:
    1. Community engagement for vaccination, sterilisation and education
    2. Engagement with different concerned government authorities under the ‘One Health’ model

Successful in Kerala, the campaign is now moving to other states across India.

Latest Updates

 

Rabies Free Timeline

2017
August 8

Education on rabies and dog-bite prevention conducted in Vattiyoorkavuschool, Trivandrum for 100 students.
July 19

Education on rabies and dog-bite prevention conducted in Manakkad TTI school, Trivandrum for 200 students.
July 14

Education on rabies and dog-bite prevention conducted in Pattom GHSS school for 300 students.



Education on rabies and dog-bite prevention conducted in Cotton Hill school, Trivandrum for 100 students.

July 9

Community engagement on dog-bite and rabies prevention conducted by NSS volunteers in Calicut.
June 29

FIAPO conducts workshop supported by prominent Malayali personalities in Trivandrum Press Club – to sensitize media.