The Sri Lankan government has decided to revert to destroying strays, a practice suspended five years ago, because of rabies concerns.
This puts the lives of millions of stray dogs at immediate risk.
Killing strays is not the way to prevent rabies in humans. The most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through vaccination.
There are several animal welfare groups in Sri Lanka conducting sterilization and vaccination programs year-round. We must show the government of Sri Lanka that sterilization and vaccination is the ONLY humane way to control dog populations and eradicate rabies.
* UPDATE Jan 14, 2012 *
It is now over 8000 signatures strong, our appeal to the Sri Lankan Health Ministry to stop the plans to start killing millions of stray dogs in Sri Lanka.
Even though the government has since decided NOT to go ahead with these plans and instead choose for awareness programs and the continuation of the national sterilization program, it is still extremely important that we voice the opinions of thousands of you, from all over the world, who have signed this petition. It will remain open to sign for all who wish to do so. Keep the signatures coming to show the Sri Lankan government that killing is NOT the solution.
Euthanasia deals with only the symptoms and not the CAUSE of population problems. It will NOT lead to population management and must not be relied upon as a sole response.
This does not just 'go away'. The world is watching and has taken a stand in protecting the rights of animals.
Dear Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena,
We, the undersigned, urge the Sri Lankan government to immediately cease all plans to start destroying strays due to rabies concerns.
As a Buddhist country, Sri Lanka should advocate humane animal population management. The way to do this is through sterilization and vaccination programs. National and international animal welfare groups have been working for several years on educating the public as well as sterilizing and vaccinating stray-, community- and owned dogs.
Even the World Health Organization states that the most cost-effective way for preventing rabies in humans is by eliminating rabies in dogs through vaccination.
Please re-evaluate and continue the national sterilization program and work together with the animal welfare groups who are working so hard to create a safe and healthy living environment for man and animal in Sri Lanka.
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