Rabies vaccination programme 2014 successfully concludes

Tibet charity Animal Care Section have continued their good work this September by vaccinating more than 850 dogs against rabies – a disease that is deadly to both people and animals.


The campaign began at Tibet Charity House in McLeod Ganj with the official opening ceremony to mark World Rabies Day. Providing education about rabies to the local population is an important part of the programme. For this reason, free vaccinations were made available for pet dogs brought to Tibet Charity House on the 10th September following the opening ceremony.

In order for mass vaccination to prevent rabies, 70% of the population needs to be inoculated. This task is made possible by the caring staff of the Tibet Charity Animal Care Section. They know the stray dogs well through their work providing veterinary care and carrying out sterilization programmes. This coupled with the kindness shown by the local people towards stray dogs and their commitment to supporting the initiative, the majority of dogs are easy to find and vaccinate. The injection itself is quickly administered under the skin and causes minimal discomfort to the animal.

In ten days, staff and volunteers from the Animal Care Section covered large areas in the region to carry out vaccination of stray dogs. Since children are at higher risk from dog bites, the areas visited included three TCV schools, where a lot of stray dogs are looked after. Each stray dog is marked with paint to indicate when they have been vaccinated. This is useful for the team to keep track of which dogs have been done, but also shows the extent of the work being done to the local people, thereby strengthening the initiative.

The collaboration between the local veterinary surgeons and doctors is essential to the success of eradicating this awful disease. We were interested to listen to Dr Tseten Dorjee Sadhutsang, Chief Medical Officer of the Tibetan Delek Hospital Dharamsala, discussing the “One Health” concept. This worldwide strategy promotes the importance of considering human and animal health together, as there are many diseases which affect both.

As veterinary surgeons from the UK, we are very impressed by the work being carried out as a result of the excellent collaboration between Brigitte Bardot Foundation and Tibet Charity. We are both humbled and heartened by the devotion of these people to animal welfare. We look forward to seeing Tibet Charity expand their good work both to a wider region and to large animals in the future.

The details of the dogs vaccinated are as under:

S. No. Date Place No. of dogs vaccinated
1. 10/09/2014 Tibet Charity House 35
2. 11 – 13/09/14 McLeod Ganj/ Baghsu 245
3. 14/09/2014 TIPA/Tushita Area 105
4. 15/09/2014 Upper TCV/Naddi Area 115
5. 16/09/2014 CTA/Mentseekhnag Area 130
6. 17/09/2014 Norbulingka/Sidhbari 110
7. 18/09/2014 Sherab Gatseling/Sarah 30
8. 19/09/2014 Shugseb/Tirlokpur 20
9. 20/09/2014 Lower Dharamsala 60
10. 21/09/2014 TCV Gopalpur 108
11. 26/09/2014 TCV Suja 15
T O T A L 973

– Submitted by: Amy Gillespie BVMS MRCVS and Charlie Arnold BVM&S MRCVS (volunteer vets)