THE Department of Agriculture extended the free laboratory services for rabies examination by Animal Disease and Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (ADDRL) of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDL) until December 31, 2020.

This is in line with the goal to improve disease surveillance and institute better institution better prevention and control measures in order to eliminate rabies in the Philippines by 2020.

Pet owners are encouraged to have their dogs vaccinated against rabies at the age of three months and above. The Livestock Program of Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) offers a free anti-rabies vaccination, which is located in BPI Compound, Guisad, Baguio City with contact numbers (074) 444-9872, 0998-3767-419 (smart) and 0915-2209-987 (globe) or at the RADDL, located at the Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC) Compound, Dontogan, Baguio City with contact number (074) 444-9871.

Based on the reports of ADDL, an average of 500 laboratory confirmed animal rabies cases were recorded annually. Also, rabies continues to be a public threat in the country claiming about 200 lives of Filipinos yearly.

Hence, the public is advised to do the following measures when bitten by a dog: leash or confine the dog in a cage and observe for 14 days; do not kill the dog; if the dog dies within 14 days, seek the assistance of a veterinarian for proper submission of specimen; and bring the specimen to the RADDL. (DA–CAR)