NegOcc dog owners form group to strengthen anti-rabies drive

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PET VACCINATION. A pet owner lets his dog get an anti-rabies shot during one of the vaccination activities of the Provincial Veterinary Office in Negros Occidental. PVO

BACOLOD City – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) organized dog owners in Negros Occidental as part of its anti-rabies campaign.

PVO head Dr. Renante Decena said organizing the dog owners club will promote responsible pet ownership. It will also raise awareness against rabies.

“The organization of dog owners club is a province-wide initiative. Through it, educating the members as well as the community about responsible pet ownership would be easier,” Decena stressed.

He noted that there are already dog owners clubs in each of the six congressional districts in Negros Occidental, but not in all local government units.

The Hinigaran Dog Owners Club in 5th District recently held an organizational meeting at the PVO District Field Office.

The activity was led by district veterinarian Ma. Regina Gawan in coordination with the Municipal Agriculture Office of Hinigaran.

It was in line with the 2019 Rabies Control Action Plan of the PVO’s Animal Health Division.

Gawan said the participants were reminded of responsible pet ownership and the government’s rabies control and prevention program.

Owning a dog requires time and commitment, Gawan added. Aside from provision of shelter and food, dogs should also be subjected to regular vaccination to protect them from diseases.

Records of the PVO showed that in 2018, canine rabies cases in Negros Occidental increased 50 percent, rising to 33 from only 22 in 2017.

There were seven human deaths due to rabies recorded last year, the records added.

Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99 percent of all rabies transmissions to humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease. Its elimination is feasible through vaccination of dogs and prevention of dog bites, WHO added. (With a report from PNA/PN)

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