AIMING to be rabies free by 2020, the province of Ifugao conducted a Rabies Awareness Campaign through a dog-walk and mass vaccination showcasing responsible pet ownership held in Lagawe recently.
The activity is a collaboration of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Ifugao Provincial Veterinary Office, provincial local government unit, Municipal LGU and the Municipal Agriculture Office.
Vilma Mosqueda of the Livestock Program at DA-Cordillera, represented Dr. Anthony Bantog, DA-Cordillera Livestock Chief, encouraged everyone to have their pets vaccinated to reach the goal of eradicating rabies by 2020.
Dr. James Gopeng, Provincial Veterinarian of Ifugao, added dogs are man’s best friend.
“We campaign for responsible pet ownership and our government also advocates it. Being one is simple. By taking responsibility, incidence of bites and rabies could be lowered down,” he said.
“Responsible pet ownership is one of objectives of the campaign. Provision of proper food and shelter avoids the roaming of dogs that could potentially be rabies carriers. Regular vaccinations on the other hand are needed because rabies is 100 percent fatal but at the same time 100 percent preventable,” Dr. Gopeng added.
According to Marcelo Banhan, Municipal Agriculturist of Lagawe, the presence of the people at the event is a manifestation they are willing to be and are already responsible pet owners.
“Through this activity, we would be able to raise awareness regarding our dogs and responsible pet ownership. It helps not only pet owners but also the community,” Banhan said.
Mayor Omar Habawel Jr. of Lagawe and Governor Pedro Mayam-o also graced the activity.
Mayam-o said the province was earlier declared drug-free and just last year, was announced to be malaria-free and hopes in the coming years, Ifugao will also be rabies-free.
“To achieve this, we need cooperation and support to the vision and mission. We are happy that our partners are very supportive. So let’s support one another,” he furthered.
Marietta Blanco, from DA-Cordillera Livestock Program, discussed the five basic animal freedoms, stated in Republic Act 8485, as additional information to become responsible pet owners. (PR)
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on April 21, 2017.
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