We share with you a report by News7 in regard to the very dangerous and difficult subject – the alleged export of Rabied dogs from the Bulgarian town Silistra to Holland. In the matter of only a few days the media took on a melodramatic story fed to them by the Dutch veterinary authorities and it led to colossal problems not only for our Dutch partners, but for everyone seeking salvation for unwanted animals in the Western country. Below you will find a translated transcript of the story aired by News7, you can view the video HERE.

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Is there rabies among the homeless dogs in Silistra or not? This is the question we went to investigate and the answer to which you will now see. Our colleagues in Silistra track down a real mystery – whether it is a mystery or a mystification – decide for yourself.

TEXT: Everything started on October 23 when the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency received a letter from the Dutch veterinary services. It carried the claim that two dogs originating from Silistra that have been sent to the land of tulips for rehoming have displayed Rabies symptoms, confirmed by a laboratory test after they were euthanized. The Bulgarian authorities acted immediately – urgently calling the Regional Epizootic Commission to work.

Fevsi Usun, director of the Regional Branch of the Food Safety Agency:

As we have not yet found any cases of Rabies in the area, we are aiming our measures to precaution and informing the population on preliminary measures. We need the Municipal epizootic commissions to take action for the owned and homeless animals, gather information on any dead animals that are found in the area.

TEXT: The commission has taken all possible measures, ruling there are no Rabies cases in the area. The questions remain. Not a single member of the local veterinary specialist believes that the dogs we actually infected.

D-r Dimitar Stefanov, chairman of the Tutrakan hunting association:

Yes, I can say with complete certainty that the dogs we not infected with rabies. They have lived in a home environment entirely between the months June-September. The anti-Rabies vaccine works after 7 days, forming antibodies in the organism. There is practically no way that these vaccinated puppies could have been infected with the disease.

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Fevsi Usun, director of the Regional Branch of the Food Safety Agency:

After taking account of all information in this case and finishing our responsibilities to it we can have no doubt that the dogs were not Rabies carriers.

TEXT: D-r Yovko Haralanov who has performed the vaccinations on the puppies cannot find any logic in the accusations received by the Dutch authorities. Anti-Rabies vaccination is a routine procedure, one that is performed successfully every single day, the dogs were given inoculations by a French manufacturer and were in complete order. The manufacturer gives a 100% success rate for the vaccine shots.

We were absolutely shocked to receive the information 20 days later – that the puppies were euthanized on a Rabies suspicion that is supposed to be confirmed by a respected laboratory. I find this absolutely strange and cannot agree with the proclaimed results.

TEXT: The Dutch themselves have said unofficially that the dogs displayed no Rabies symptoms, but were experiencing gastro-intestinal issues after their long journey. There are many more details that make the allegations of the Dutch authorities highly improbable. Renown foreign specialists have expressed their lack of convincement that both dogs were carrying the Rabies virus.

D-r Yovko Haralanov:

I have discussed this situation with rabies-specialists both in the UK and the US and they have expressed their doubts on this actually being a real Rabies case.

TEXT: Since the Bulgarian Veterinary Authorities have completely excluded the possibility of the dogs being infected with Rabies on Bulgarian or Dutch territory – what has actually happened?

D-r Dimitar Stefanov:

I will have to say it directly – this is a case of unversed, unqualified work. The fact that they have found negrian bodies on the swab in the laboratory test proves absolutely nothing, definitely not that the dog is a Rabies carrier.

TEXT: There is an implication that seems very probable – lately we have had many homeless dogs exported to European countries, could this be the reason?

D-r Yovko Haralanov:

I cannot know what exactly is the point of this and whether it is an attempt by the Dutch authorities to seal off the import of animals from Bulgaria.

D-r Dimitar Stefanov:

Having in mind that Holland, France have their own shelter animals to think of, it is not surprising that they will come up with a way to restrict the import of dogs from Bulgaria and other countries.

TEXT: Of course, for us it is most important that the dogs in Silistra have no symptoms of Rabies whatsoever. If any homeless dogs in the city were indeed infected with Rabies that would make life in the city a living hell, or at least that is the opinion of the specialists. And yet – the questions still remain unanswered, somewhere on the long European road between Bulgaria and Holland.


20 November 2013 | News

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