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Animal Health and Welfare (10-09-2007)

European Commission welcomes World Rabies Day

World Rabies Day took place on Saturday 8th September, launching a 6-week campaign to raise awareness about this disease and bring together international partners on the issue of rabies prevention and control. A series of events will take place over the coming weeks, to highlight the problem of rabies and the measures that can be taken to address it.
Rabies is a fully preventable disease, yet more than 55 000 people worldwide die from it every year. Most of these deaths occur in Africa and Asia. The main source of the disease in humans is uncontrolled rabies in dogs.
In the EU, rabies in domestic animals is no longer considered to be a significant problem, although there are still sporadic cases in pet carnivores due to illegal imports into Europe. Strict rules are in place for the non-commercial movement of pet animals, in order to prevent the disease being carried into or around the EU.
In wild animals (mainly foxes and raccoon), rabies is still found in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, and in the Baltic and Balkan states. Nonetheless, the situation with rabies in wildlife has improved greatly, thanks to the EU oral vaccination programmes for wild animals, which have been implemented over the past 10 years.  
For more information on World Rabies Day, see: