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    Rabies still rampant in Turkey; veterinary head criticizes programs

    Hürriyet Haber
    28.08.2006 - 10:48 | Son Güncelleme:

    The EU Veterinary Platform has announced that 22 different regions in Turkey have been put under "rabies quarantine" in the past 22 months. Rabies cases in Turkey have been seen even in Istanbul, which, despite being praised for being a "world city," has experienced rabies in 8 different sections of the city over the past 3 months.

    A total of 152 thousand people have been vaccinated for the deadly disease at Turkish hospitals over the past year at a cost of 10 million YTL.

    The head of the Turkish Veterinary Doctors Foundation, Mustafa Altunbas, has said that there has been a visible increase in rabies cases this past year. He notes that the disease is spreading from provincial areas to city centers across the country. Atlunbas also notes that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of stray animals in Turkish cities over the past year, and asserts that just half of the money spent on rabies vaccines could be put towards successfully solving the rabies problem in street animals.

    Says Altunbas "Most of our municipalities think of mass killings or imprisonment of street animals when the subject of 'solving the street animal problem' comes up. Unfortunately, we are still far from a civilized solution, such as gathering up the street animals and sterilizing them. Whenever the subject arises, municipalities say that they don't have the resources to do these things (sterilizing). But in the end, it is an irrefutable fact that we are actually spending that money anyway."

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