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The Role of Dog Ecology in Canine Rabies Prevention and Control in Asia: Lessons from Indonesia and the Oceanic Region

Constraints to canine rabies elimination include low political priority, poor implementation of a One Health approach, low accessibility of rabies post-exposure treatment, and often insufficient information on local dog populations. Studies on dog ecology can provide essential insights to guide the implementation of effective dog vaccination campaigns, but they are rare in Asia. While population size estimations and demographics are relatively well-researched, information about contact networks, population dynamics, and human-mediated dog movements is limited. In this chapter, dog ecology research in Asia is reviewed, and two dog ecology case studies from Indonesia and Oceania using GPS (Global Positioning System) collars, contact sensors, camera trapping, serology and surveys are presented. Differences within and between dog populations reveal the heterogeneity of dog behaviour that is bound to the societal context in which dogs are kept. Such findings can be used for scenario simulations in disease spread models, and can inform rabies elimination strategies by dog vaccination, supported by dog confinement and population control.



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