1.6. What is involved in a dog rabies control plan?

The first step is to define the canine rabies situation in your country, which can be as follows:

- Rabies is present and is either maintained in dogs or is fairly common in dogs, but is maintained in other species (spill-over situation). In both circumstances it is important to control rabies in dogs since they represent the greatest threat to human health because of their close proximity to people.

- Rabies has been absent for a number of years but re-introductions are possible.

- No information is available because no surveillance measures are in place.

- I do not know, how do I find out? Click here to see the global distribution of rabies.

The objectives of a dog rabies control project should be to eliminate dog rabies from a given area and to keep this area free from the disease forever. The Blueprint for Canine Rabies Prevention and Control will guide you through what you can do to achieve these objectives. An effective dog rabies control programme should involve two phases, an attack phase (the elimination project) and a maintenance phase. Epidemiological vigilance is essential to both. It is strongly suggested that initiators of rabies control projects emphasize the importance of a maintenance phase in order to render the endeavour worthwhile.

If canine rabies is present in your country, there are a number of steps you need to consider to achieve the objectives described above as shown in this diagram. You can access guidelines specific to each component of the process either by clicking on the headings of the diagram, or through the left navigation bar or the Site Map.

If canine rabies has been suddenly re-introduced into an area after a period of absence, click here for specific guidelines on contingency planning.

If wildlife species are responsible for maintenance, different approaches will be required, which are dealt with in the Blueprint for Fox Rabies Prevention and Control.

Governments wishing to establish and implement a national rabies control strategy may find additional, practical guidance in the available tool for a Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination in Section 6.

previous page: 1.5. Why is it possible to control canine rabies?

next page: 1.7. Who can I approach for advice?

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Version 4 - last updated May 2017