In Venezuela, the government has mounted a massive anti-rabies campaign. The target of the campaign?
In Venezuela, the government has mounted a massive anti-rabies campaign. The target of the campaign are the hundreds of thousands of dogs running wild in the streets of the capital Caracas and surrounding countryside.
So far this year, 140 thousand dogs have been vaccinated against the killer disease and another 20 thousand stray animals have been destroyed by the authorities. The campaign is directed by the Chief of the anti-rabies commission, Doctor Miguel Gaithero.
These wild dogs cause the greatest problems for the workers involved. Once family pets are caught they are vaccinated against rabies and then marked. Its estimated that there are nine dogs to every hundred people in Caracas.
The huge numbers of dogs and the resultant threat they pose, gives the authorities no choice but to get rid of them. Vets and their assistants make up poisonous meals for the stray dogs. No cure has yet been found for rabies - a disease which causes a long, slow death for anyone who contracts it. After being fed the poisonous meal the
dogs have no chance of survival. Recent tests on the brains of the dead animals have shown that almost a quarter had the disease. With that thought in mind, the job of killing the dogs is at least made a little easier for the exterminations.