September 19, 2017

Boehringer Ingelheim strives to prevent rabies through education initiatives

Duluth, Ga. – September 19, 2017 – Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading provider of animal health products for pets, today announced its support of several education programs dedicated to help U.S. veterinarians and pet owners protect their pets from rabies. A devastating viral disease that occurs in more than 150 countries and territories, rabies can pose a significant threat to the health of animals and people. However, it is a preventable disease, and an important part of rabies control programs is regular vaccination of pets.

“It’s important that pet owners understand the risk of rabies and the essential role of vaccinating their pets against this disease,” said Mike Hamby, head of US Pet Vet for the Boehringer Ingelheim animal health business unit. “We are dedicated to helping veterinarians and pet owners protect dogs and cats from rabies through quality vaccines and a variety of education initiatives. The annual milestone of World Rabies Day on September 28 offers us a valuable opportunity to remind pet owners about the importance of year-round vigilance as we work together to help prevent rabies.”

In addition to a long history of providing injectable rabies vaccines for pets and other domestic species (cattle, sheep, horses and ferrets), Merial, now a part of Boehringer Ingelheim, also supports U.S. public health programs preventing the spread of wildlife rabies in raccoons and coyotes.

Merial’s rabies awareness and education initiatives include:

  • Rabies awareness kits for veterinarians
    • Awareness kits distributed to veterinary offices nationwide are designed to help veterinary staff nationwide educate pet owners on the risks of rabies and the importance of regular vaccination to prevent rabies in pets and thus reduce the risk of human exposure. The kits include awareness posters and flyers, a rabies fact sheet for pet owners, and a rabies coloring book for children.
  • Rabies law and regulation education for veterinarians
    • www.RabiesAware.org is a rabies information resource for veterinarians providing information on state rabies vaccination laws, which can vary significantly among states and even among counties.
    • A Rabies Awareness Challenge webinar will be featured on VetFolio.com in late September. The webinar by Dr. Richard Ford, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, will provide information about state-level legal issues and clinical decision-making for rabies immunization of pets.
  • Consumer rabies awareness and events
    • An integrated consumer awareness campaign is educating cat owners on the importance of rabies vaccination. In the U.S., more cats are infected with rabies than any other pet1, so it’s important that cat owners know the facts and do their part to vaccinate their pets, including indoor cats. The campaign includes hosted events with digital influencers and veterinarians at cat cafés in key cities, online games, advertisements and social media.
  • Support for Mission Rabies through Brief Media
    • In collaboration with Brief Media through sponsorship of volunteers, the company supports the efforts of Mission Rabies to vaccinate dogs and educate children on rabies prevention. In May 2017, a team including Boehringer Ingelheim Director of Veterinary Technical Solutions Dr. Bob Menardi vaccinated 34,000 dogs in Malawi, Africa. Since September 2013, Mission Rabies has vaccinated more than 500,000 dogs and educated more than one million children on rabies risk reduction in high-risk rabies countries.

About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
As the second largest animal health business in the world, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving animal health. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has products available in more than 150 markets and a global presence in 99 countries. For more information about Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, click here.

References
1Birhane MG, Cleaton JM, Monroe BP, et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2015. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017;250(10):1117-1130.