As part of efforts to get rid of the disease and its deadly effects on people, pet owners in Osun State have been directed to take them for routine vaccination against rabies.h
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Adedayo Adewole gave the directive in his keynote address to flag-off 2021 Free Anti Rabies Programme in Osogbo.
He therefore expressed the desire of the present administration to rid the state off rabies infected pets, and to achieve this all important goal, Adewole directed that henceforth all pet owners must take them for vaccination without delay.
While appreciating the Federal Government for her support in giving 3,500 doses of Anti-Rabies Vaccines to the state, the Commissioner expressed concern over the rising cases of rabies in Nigeria.
However, he stressed that the Osun State Government will not leave any stone unturned in providing funds for the procurement of more drugs to fight the menace of rabies throughout the state.
He added that doctors as a matter of duty will henceforth be moving round the state especially the rural areas for the next four weeks to get pets such as dogs, cats, monkeys and bats among others vaccinated free of charge.
Adewole therefore charged pet owners especially dogs to take advantage of the situation by taking them to the nearby veterinary clinics for routine vaccination free of charge.
In his Goodwill message, the Director of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Olaniran Alabi disclosed that through mass vaccination and enlightenment campaigns, the scorge of rabies will become minimal in Nigeria.
He particularly noted that dogs accounted for 99% of human deaths arising from the incidents of rabies attack .
The director who was represented by Dr. Mathias Bisong described rabies as one of the priority transboundary animal diseases which has remained endemic in Nigeria since it was first reported in 1912.
He highlighted some of the constraints in the control of the disease in Nigeria as borne out of the fact that majority of dogs are not only unlicensed and unvaccinated but allowed to roam freely in the communities.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Veterinary Services in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security , Dr (Mrs) Abosede Olatokun disclosed that the Federal Government has donated 3,500 dosses of Anti-Rabies Varccines to the state alone.
She added that the target was to ensure that the incidents of rabies in pets especially, dogs were put at bay.
She charged dog owners to desist from allowing them to stray around without vaccination, stressing that any dog that bites a person, the owner will be prosecuted and jailed.
In their words of appreciation, the duo of Felix Oluwatobiloba and Esther Kujembola who benefited from the services appreciated the state government for bringing the exercise to the state free of charge.
They prayed God to continue to strengthen Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and members of his cabinet.
Meanwhile, all dogs taken to the venue of the programme were vaccinated free of charge.