Preventing rabies and protecting animals
Every year around 55,000 people die of rabies across the world, half of them being children and teenagers under 15 years old. Rabies is a dangerous viral infection that is transmitted to humans by the saliva or bites of infected dogs.
Animals that have bitten humans are often subjected to severe abuse, and punishments can even take the form of brutal killings. Children are especially affected by the dog bites due to their size and their carefree manner towards animals.
The IN AWE education campaign*
For this reason IN AWE, WSPA’s education programme, focuses primarily on schoolchildren in order to inform them about responsible pet ownership and the prevention of dog bites.
Animal protection in the classroom with Doggy Speak and Caring for Cats & Dogs
Doggy Speak and Caring for Cats & Dogs are the titles of two booklets that WSPA and its member societies have so far used in different parts of the world with great success. One of the IN AWE targets for 2009 is the production of these educational booklets in order to introduce schoolchildren in Southeast Asia to issues such as animal protection and the responsible treatment of animals.
*‘IN AWE’ Programme is for the 5-16 age range: school children, teachers, teacher trainers and curriculum developers. Working with governments, teachers and some Member Societies, WSPA helps embed animal welfare into the school curriculum.
Doggy Speak is a 16-page booklet which teaches children aged 6-11 how to interpret basic canine behaviour and enables them to interact safely with dogs.
The goal is that, after reading the booklet, students should know how to understand and interpret canine behaviour. In particular, they should be able to recognise whether a dog is aggressive, frightened or happy, and know how best to approach a happy dog.
The activities in the booklet are designed to correspond to these learning objectives and they are easy to check and correct by teachers, peers or by the students themselves. A particular advantage is that school teachers can use the Doggy Speak booklet without the need for an expert animal welfare educator to be present. This allows greater numbers of children to receive the important lessons contained within the booklet.
Caring for Cats & Dogs
The booklet Caring for Cats & Dogs is used by teachers in order to teach their students respect and compassion for dogs and cats. Its special focus is on dog bite prevention and safe interaction with animals and viral infections.
Through the support of the Tierschutz-Stiftung Wolfgang Bösche WSPA we will be able to produce different language versions of the booklets for Thailand, Vietnam and India this coming year. It will be used in many schools to teach children how to interact with animals in a respectful and appropriate way.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is a global animal welfare movement and at the same time the world’s largest federation of animal welfare societies, with over 960 member societies working in 155 different countries.
Its main task is to help and protect animals and to create a climate for change leading to enforced legislation that transforms animals’ lives worldwide. WSPA mostly works in regions of the world where few, if any, measures exist to protect animals, whether through direct fieldwork, campaigning, education, training, or by supporting locally-based animal welfare organisations.
WSPA is represented in numerous international bodies and has consultative status in the United Nations.