The provincial government, through the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO), will mark National Rabies Month this March.
In line with the celebration, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy said the Capitol will sponsor free veterinary services for selected local government units (LGUs).
“It is either they have canine and human rabies cases or they have low vaccination coverage in the past two years,” she said.
The services include dog vaccination, vitamins supplementation, deworming, spay and neuter, and consultations.
The Capitol also purchased close to P3 million worth of dog collars with tags to be worn by all registered dogs in the province.
“If they have dog tags, it means they have been vaccinated. And in case they have bitten humans, they are easily traced and observed if they have emitted symptoms of the rabies disease,” she said.
The registration contains the name of the dog owner and dog number. This information is also indicated in the dog tags. These will be encoded in the database of the PVO.
The collars can also be used for dog leash, of which the owners are mandated to provide under Republic Act 9482 or the “Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.”
Dr. Vincoy said the LGUs are also required by law to provide a dog tag for every immunized and registered dogs. But because of budgetary constraints, the provision of the anti-rabies law remains unimplemented. Hence, the province under Governor Hilario P. Davide III steps in.
Aside from the month of March, the Capitol will hold anti-rabies awareness campaign activities in the months of June and September.
June is the provincial rabies awareness month while September 28 is the World Rabies Day.
In Cebu Province, the islands of Camotes and Malapascua have been declared rabies-free by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health. The PVO has also endorsed Zaragosa Island in Badian town to be declared rabies-free.
According to the latest report of PVO, around 70 to 80 percent of dogs in the province are vaccinated with rabies vaccines.