CORDILLERA pet owners are urged to have their dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies.
In celebration of Rabies Awareness Month in March, Arlene Sagayo, Department of Agriculture in Cordillera Regional Rabies coordinator said as part of their awareness program every province in the Cordillera will have vaccination centers.
Sagayo said free vaccination for rabies is available this month and residents are urged to visit the nearest veterinary or Agriculture office adding vaccination remains a cost effective way of preventing rabies.
Rabies, a 100-percent fatal disease caused by virus, is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal or contamination of any wound with saliva containing rabies virus.
Sagayo said that in 2019, there were three cases of rabies from Kalinga, Ifugao and Benguet provinces.
Sagayo lauded the Benguet province, the best implementing province of rabies program this through the initiative of the Provincial Veterinary Office and the provincial government.
Data presented shows rabies remain as public health problem in the country with an average of 200 human deaths due to rabies and 700 to 900 reported animal rabies every year for the past five years. Republic Act 9482, an act providing control and elimination of human and animal rabies prescribing penalties for violation.
Under the law, pet owners are required to have their dog regularly vaccinated at three months old and ever year after against rabies. Owners must maintain control over their dogs. They are further tasked in 24 hours report immediate dog biting incident to the concerned officials, and assist dog bite victim.
This year, she added they are targeting 80 percent of the dog population to be vaccinated.
The Benguet provincial government unit offered free rabies vaccination of animals in the 13 municipalities that will lapsed May this year.