By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Government has directed all pet owners in the State to take them for vaccination without delay.
Delivering a keynote address on the 2021 flag-off free anti-rabies program in Osogbo, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Adedayo Adewole noted that routine vaccination is necessary for the pets in order to guide against rabies and its deadly effects on people.
The commissioner said that Governor Gboyega Oyetola led administration is determined to rid the state of rabies infected pets.
The Commissioner who expressed concern over the rising cases of rabies in Nigeria, appreciated the Federal Government for giving 3,500 doses of Anti-Rabies Vaccines to the State.
He maintained that the State Government will leave no stone unturned in providing funds for the procurement of more drugs to fight the menace of rabies throughout the state.
Adewole said 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.
He, 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 scourge of rabies will become minimal in Nigeria.
He particularly noted that dogs accounted for 99% of human deaths arising from incidents of rabies attacks.
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.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Veterinary Services in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr (Mrs) Abosede Olatokun charged dog owners to desist from allowing them to stray around without vaccination, stressing that any dog that bites a person, its owner will be prosecuted and jailed.