Vetcharity in Dharamsala and Bodhgaya, northern India are using
the ABC program designed by WSPA and WHO to improve the health
and control the population of dogs. ABC stands for animal birth
control program which is a catch and spay program, coupled with
a rabies vacination program.
Previous to using the ABC method, catch and kill programs had been widespread in India. These programs were not effectively controling the street dog population even though they being killed in huge quantities. It was found that the dog populations from neighbouring areas moved into to the fill the population gap and breeding increased. Another outcome of the catch and kill strategy is that it does nothing to encourage dog owner to neuter there own pets and help aid in population control. In many respect the ABC approach has positive effects for the long term of the animal and human population, with human rabies infection decreasing in the areas where ABC is practised.
Vetcharity.org will open a cliinic in Bodagaya during late 2004, which will include veterinary emergency services, an animal shelter and running a vacination and neutering program for the local dog population. The clinic will be staffed by volunteer vets and vet nurses.
A large animal project is being started to improve the health and welfare of working animals including horses, buffalo, donkeys and cows. These animals are used as transport for people and goods and are often suffering malnutrition and work in extreme heat up to 50 degrees and some without adequate water. Improving the condition of these animals will benefit the human community who earn a living from working with these animals. A mobile clinic will bring veterinary medicine to the site of working animals and provide veterinary care and education for the owners of the animals, it will also be shared by the dog spaying program.