September 28 is World Rabies Day. Rabies is a neurological disease which is present in an upwards of 150 nations across the globe and affects both humans and animals. It is a disease which is responsible for roughly sixty-thousand deaths each year. The Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan continues to actively prevent rabies outbreaks within Taiwan. The Committee has at its disposal a laboratory which is capable of diagnosing the disease, allowing Taiwan to serve in the forefront for the prevention of rabies outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific.
From 1961 to 2012, Taiwan did not experience a single rabies outbreak. However, in 2013, a single case was identified in the Formosan Ferret-badger, leading the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan to take steps to prevent an outbreak of rabies in Taiwan. Furthermore, in response to World Rabies Day, the Council took it upon itself to ensure the constant availability of rabies vaccine injections throughout Taiwan. To prevent an outbreak of rabies in Taiwan, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine urges for the strict adherence to the principle of “Two No, One Yes” Policy. This policy entails that no person should approach a wild animal or abandon a pet. It also entails that dog and cat owners say “yes” to vaccinating their puppies and kittens. This is because if more than 70% of dogs and cats are vaccinated on an annual basis, the spread of the rabies to dogs and cats can be effectively blocked and the risk that rabies will be transmitted to humans can be greatly reduced.
As an Office International des Epizooties (OIE) member, Taiwan is committed to ensuring transparency in the global animal-disease situation, sharing scientific information, controlling and eliminating animal-diseases, the combating of transmittable diseases between humans and animals, improving veterinary education and the strengthening the veterinary service system’s work. Taiwan’s Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI), Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan signed a memorandum of cooperation with France’s ANSES Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife for the creation of the “OIE Twinning Project” for Rabies Between ANSES-Nancy and AHRI, with the goal of enhancing the diagnostic capabilities of nations in the Asia-Pacific Region and allowing Taiwan to be at the forefront in the battle against rabies in the region.
Source: The Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan