Bayelsa Times

Delta govt calls on dogs owners to vaccinate pets against rabies 

By Grace Eshedagho

Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Godfrey Enita, has called on all dog owners as well as cats to vaccinate such pets annually  against rabies infections.

Dr. Enita made the call ahead the celebration of the World Rabies Day  in the state  on September 28, 2022.

The theme of the 2022 celebration is ‘‘One Health Zero Death’’.

According to the commissioner, ‘‘the World Rabies Day is celebrated annually to primarily draw the attention of humanity and create awareness on one of the oldest and most dangerous zoonotic diseases known to man.’’

Dr. Enita remarked that the issues of rabies seemed to be under-reported and attract no concern, which made it difficult to understand the extent of spread of the virus in any country.

He further added that other domestic warm-blooded animals, like cattle, sheep, goat etc., were susceptible to the disease with various levels of tolerance, unlike human beings where the disease cause 100% mortality as soon as it overcomes the immune system.

In the same vein, Dr. Enita reiterated that in Delta State, Vaccination/Immunisation of dogs against rabies would be free of charge in all government veterinary clinics across the state.

He added that prevention demanded not only annual vaccination, but restriction of dogs within its environment by which ever humane means possible.

He disclosed that a law on responsible dog ownership was currently being planned.

“Delta State has a sizeable number of dogs and majority are unimmunised and set free on our streets.

“Such portends a great danger to the citizens. That is why the state governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeayi Okowa, is committed to the annual rabies campaign by providing funds for the purpose,” the commissioner said.

The commissioner enjoined all dog owners to cultivate the habit of immunising their dogs annually once they were 12 weeks of age in the various state government and private veterinary clinics across the state, and obtain a certificate of vaccination.

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