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Month-long rabies vaccination drive in Byo

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) have urged residents in the western suburbs to take advantage of the one-month long rabies vaccination program to get their dogs vaccinated.

The vaccination drive will be conducted from 8 November 2011, by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) in partnership with the Department of Veterinary Field Services and Tsetse Control.

Three-month-old dogs and above are eligible for vaccination.

In a statement, Thursday, BCC Town Clerk Christopher Dube said dog owners are required by law to have their dogs vaccinated against rabies at the age of three months then re-vaccinated at the age of twelve months.

“Thereafter, dog owners are required to have their dogs vaccinated against rabies disease annually,” said Dube.

“Any person who acquires a dog with neither tattoo marks on the ears nor rabies vaccination certificate is required to vaccinate it within seven days of obtaining it if it is three months old or more.”

He said a charge of ZWL$85 will be collected per dog vaccinated.

Dube added that vaccination may be done by a private veterinary surgeon, a government veterinary surgeon, or by an authorised person.

“A fine of more than $100 may be imposed on dog owners who keep custody of unvaccinated dogs,” he said.

Meanwhile, BPRA Secretary for Administration, Thembelani Dube said the dog owners have an obligation to protect the residents by ensuring that their dogs are vaccinated.

“As BPRA we welcome the rabies vaccination blitz. Dog owners have an obligation to protect the rest of the residents by making sure their dogs are vaccinated against the deadly virus transmitted by the infected dogs.

“We urge all the residents to adhere to the vaccination schedule and have their dogs (3 months old and above) vaccinated. They must have their dogs vaccinated annually. Above all, the dogs must be kept behind the gates and not allowed to roam the streets as this may put the lives of other residents at risk of being bitten and worse, infected with rabies. Stray dogs should be put down or taken to the SPCA, to protect the masses,” said Dube.

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