By Claudio Sillero
An important scientific paper has just been published in the Vaccine journal, reporting on the trials EWCP has been undertaking of an oral rabies vaccine in to protect Ethiopian wolves form rabies. With permission from our government partners we have tested bait preferences and the delivery of the vaccines in a few wolf packs in the Bale Mountains. This is the first trail of its kind. Never before the SAG2 rabies vaccine had been tested on wild populations of an endangered species, even though this same oral vaccine has helped to eradicate rabies in red foxes and raccoons over vast areas of USA and Europe.
After this successful test, backed up by the international community via the peer review system, oral vaccination can turn our disease fighting strategy from being reactive, to being proactive. Why wait for the next outbreak to take hold when we can offer the last few hundred surviving Ethiopian wolves effective protection?
We are working with our partners on an integrated disease management plan that would reduce the prevalence of dog related diseases, bringing benefits to wildlife, people and their livestock. Oral vaccination could spare many from a hideous and certain death and deliver a concrete financial benefit.
Photos: Ethiopian wolves comsuming the oral vaccine and the team preparing the vaccine with gaot meat, the preffered bait.