Created on Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dr. Teodoro Dabocol of DA discusses the importance of responsible pet ownership to Ms. Rachel Nesia of PIA and Mr. Wenceslao Celendron of DYMR

Be responsible pet owners.

This was the call of the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office No. 7 (DA-RFO 7) to all pet owners during the recent Kapihan Sa PIA in celebration of the Rabies Awareness Month.

Dr. Teodoro Dabucol, DA-7 Chief of the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and Regional Rabies Coordinator said pet owners must be responsible and vigilant in taking good care of their pets. He encouraged them to have their dogs and cats rabies-vaccinated.

Rabies is a deadly viral infection that spreads through the bites of a rabid animal. The disease is 100% fatal and preventable. Subjecting all dogs to rabies vaccination will decrease rabies cases.

Dr. Dabocol said 98% of rabies incidence is caused by dog bites while the 2% are from other animals like cats.

He further encouraged owners to have their dogs registered in private or government veterinary clinics/offices in their localities. The one-time registration package includes yearly vaccination, deworming and other animal health care services. Pet owners who fail to register their dogs will pay a P2,000 fine and will be penalized P500 in dog straying. Owners who refuse to shoulder the cost of expenses of the victims’ medication will be fined P25,000.

He revealed that Region 7 has 48 rabies cases in 2014. Of these, Lapu-lapu City has 18 rabies cases while Cebu City has 16 cases. Other areas include Mandaue, Talisay, Balamban and San Remegio of Cebu Province, Tagbilaran and Tubigon of Bohol, and Dumaguete and Valencia of Negros Oriental.

The entire province of Siquijor, islands of Malapascua and Camotes, and Apo and Olympia islands of Negros Oriental were declared by the Office International des Epizootes (OIE) as rabies-free areas. (Lolita Maramara – RAFIS)

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