World Veterinary Day to focus on rabies prevention

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World Veterinary Day 2011, April 30, will raise awareness of veterinarians' role in rabies prevention and control.

World Veterinary Day 2011The World Veterinary Association created World Veterinary Day in 2000 as an annual celebration of the veterinary profession, falling on the last Saturday of April. The WVA, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and Global Alliance for Rabies Control have partnered to promote this year's theme of rabies prevention.

According to the GARC, rabies causes at least 55,000 human deaths annually in Africa and Asia. Almost all human cases of rabies result from bites by rabid dogs.

"Prevention at the animal source is the key strategy in dealing with rabies, and veterinarians are therefore crucial to its control," according to the GARC. "Today only 10 percent of the financial resources used to treat people after a dog bite would suffice to fund national veterinary services of the world to eradicate rabies in animals and stop virtually all human cases."

The WVA and OIE will again offer the World Veterinary Day Award for the most successful celebration of the occasion by a national veterinary association working alone or in cooperation with other veterinary groups.

In 2010, Vets Care Organization Pakistan won the $1,000 award for marking World Veterinary Day with a two-day free clinic at the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Lahore.

The 2011 World Veterinary Day Award will recognize the national veterinary association that best promotes the rabies theme by involving stakeholders in World Veterinary Day. The deadline for national associations to apply for the award is May 1.

Information about World Veterinary Day and the World Veterinary Day Award is available at