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Veterinarian & Shelter Staff Training 2003





Course & Training 1999

Shelter Management Manual

Training 2000

Conference & Training 2003




CHAI and Hakol Chai Join Forces with the Government of Israel


Dr. Nurit Sharlin, Head of Environmental Studies Center, Western Galilee College, who has organized all training conferences for vets; Nina Natelson, Director of CHAI; Dr. Tsipori, in charge of training for municipal vets; Dr. Haimovitch, Director, Field Veterinary Services


As a result of a July 2003 conference co-sponsored by CHAI, Hakol Chai, and Israel's Ministries of Health, Environment, and Agriculture, the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to replace the slow, painful strychnine poisonings of animals with humane animal capture and control measures. This is the first time the Veterinary Services has joined forces with an animal protection charity to improve the treatment of animals.


Education in the Bedouin Communities

Among other important initiatives to emerge from the conference, Hakol Chai will partner with Israel's Nature Reserves Authority (a government agency) to provide education within the Bedouin community, a source of unvaccinated strays who wander into inhabited areas, and to spay/neuter and vaccinate their dogs. Hakol Chai will bring its mobile spay/neuter clinic into the desert for this effort, which will attack the problem at its roots.



Israel is a rabies-endemic country, where people have died from the disease. Potentially rabid dogs, many from Bedouin camps or from neighboring Arab regions where rabies control is scarce, enter inhabited areas at night, in packs, in search of food, making capture difficult and posing a threat to human health. For this reason, municipal veterinarians claimed the poisonings were necessary to protect the public.


Banning Strychnine

Poisoned baits are put out by municipal officials. Animals eat the poisoned food and die of asphyxiation during convulsions over a period up to 24 hours. An estimate by a government source puts the number of strychnine pellets provided to municipal veterinarians annually at 30,00040,000, with two pellets per dog the usual dose. Companion animals, as well as strays, suffer and die from the cruel poison set out in baits, which remain potent for years. Improperly disposed of doses, and doses workers fail to pick up when they are left uneaten, cause slow, painful death to other animals. The Veterinary Services has now agreed to ban the strychnine poisonings altogether, and to use the fast-acting, painless euthanasia drug used at U.S. animal shelters, following a successful trial. The use of even this painless euthanasia drug is a temporary measure, until the oral rabies vaccine is distributed throughout the rest of the region.


The July 8 conference and follow-up visits to municipal pounds were attended by municipal veterinarians from all over the country, as well as veterinarians connected with animal shelters and various government agencies.

On a break: municipal and shelter veterinarians attend the conference



Conference Speakers

Colorado State veterinarian, John Maulsby, DVM, who heads the state's Bureau of Animal Protection, discussed humane animal control efforts in the U.S., pointing out that education and vaccination, rather than poisoning, are the key approaches. University of Pennsylvania Vet School graduate, Sarah Levine, VMD, presented Hakol Chai's "model communities" project as a long-term solution to the problems of animal overpopulation and responsible animal care. This project combines education in schools and community centers with low-cost spaying and neutering in its mobile spay/neuter clinic.


U.S. humane capture expert Nick Gillman, of ACES (Animal Care and Equipment Services), presented the most up-to-date techniques of approaching stray dogs, as well as modern tranquilizer guns, which permit the dogs to be captured quickly and humanely, so they can be returned to their guardians or placed in new homes. Small darts and light-weight, low-velocity blow guns were recommended in place of longer, high-velocity darts that, because of their powerful impact, inflict significant damage on the animal. Faster-acting tranquilizers were recommended, to ensure that the animal will be captured, rather than run away and die slowly and painfully from infection caused by the high-impact darts. Some municipal officials reported difficulty in capturing up to 80% of the dogs darted.



Nick Gillman of ACES


Doug Fakkema of AHA


U.S. euthanasia expert Doug Fakkema, of the American Humane Association, presented information about the most humane euthanasia drug used in U.S. shelters, and he demonstrated humane techniques for handling animals in various situations.



CHAI has worked since its inception in 1984 to replace the mass poisonings with humane measures, including use of the humane oral rabies vaccine, the only method proven successful in combating this deadly disease. The vaccine is now being distributed throughout Israel, and funds have been provided by the EU to conduct a similar program in neighboring Arab regions. Government officials are confident that improved cooperation between governments in the region will lead to joint efforts to distribute the vaccine throughout the entire area.


In addition, CHAI provided information from the World Health Organization and other expert agencies, stating that poisoning is ineffective in controlling rabies and can even help spread it; CHAI imported sodium pentobarbital to replace use of the poison at municipal pounds; provided letters from veterinary pathologists around the world to the Supreme Court, stating that the strychnine-like poison used on cats, alpha chloralose (tardemon), is inhumane; and encouraged vets from outside Israel to condemn the poisonings, including at an international veterinary conference held in Jerusalem.


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