Bangladesh to vaccinate stray dogs to check rabies
Two-year-old Manik plays with a dog at a garbage dump in Dhaka (Reuters)
Bangladesh plans to vaccinate stray dogs instead of culling them in a bid to prevent rabies that annually kills some 2,000 people in the country.
The government has teamed up with a global group - World Society for the Protection of Animals, or WSPA - to begin vaccinating in Cox's Bazar town.
Health Ministry official Be-Nazir Ahmed told The Associated Press Thursday "we want to eliminate rabies but without the need to cull dogs".
In a statement, WSPA said its Cox's Bazar campaign would "save thousands of dogs in its first year alone and pave the way for a nationwide vaccination campaign".
Cox's Bazar, a southern beach resort, was chosen because tourists regularly fall victim to stray dogs. Authorities record up to 300,000 dog bites annually in Bangladesh.