Apr. 20 is World Animal Vaccination Day
World Animal Vaccination Day promotes the importance of vaccination in all animals. More than 100 animal diseases can be prevented through vaccination, helping to protect many species including dogs, cats, cattle, swine, poultry, horses, sheep, exotic pets, fish and wild animals.
Vaccination not only protects animal health and improves welfare through reduced disease, it is also vital to protect human health. Rabies is a prime example of this, where research has shown that vaccinating just 70 per cent of the dog population is enough to eliminate the risk of rabies infections in people. Diseases such as rabies are referred to as ’zoonotic’, i.e. are transmissible between animals and humans. In developing countries thousands of people die every year from bites of rabid animals. In North America we are fortunate to have excellent Rabies control programs, but as recent outbreaks in the Hamilton have shown we cannot be too complacent. We must keep all of our pets vaccines up to date.
Vaccination of food-producing animals also helps to ensure a safe and sustainable supply of protein, which is especially important as the population continues to grow. Vaccinations also help reduce the need to use some medicines such as antibiotics when dealing with diseases.
**adapted from material from Health for Animals website.