VIGAN CITY – Rabies is 99% fatal. But 100% preventable. If this is so why did four residents of the province die late in 2018 because of rabies?
“We have to investigate these cases. Has ignorance on rabies prevention got to do with these deaths? Or is there lack of vaccines against human rabies? How far has the local government units concerned gone to work out the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 or Republic Act 9482?” said Efren Rafanan, Sr, member of the 9th Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
“Three deaths were caused by accidents along the roads because of stray dogs. We have to check how responsible pet owners are. How far the law has been strictly followed in confining dogs to fenced areas of households,” he said.
Becoming a responsible pet owner is the best way to enforce the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 in any town, city or barangay, he admitted. Section 5 of the law states the responsibilities of pet owners.
All pet owners shall be required to have their dogs regularly vaccinated against rabies and maintain a registration card which shall contain all vaccinations conducted on their dogs, for accurate record purposes; to submit their dogs for mandatory registration; and to mainntain control over their dogs and not allow it to roam the streets or any public place without a leash.
Further the law states that responsible pet owners provides their dogs with proper grooming, adequate food and clean shelter. Within twenty-four (24) hours, they must report immediately any dog -biting incident to concerned officials for investigation or for any appropriate action and place such dog under observation by a government or private veterinarian. They must assist the dog bite victim immediately and shoulder the medical expenses incurred and other incidental expenses relative to the victim’s injuries.
Rafanan believes that if every resident in the province become a responsible pet owner, each of the 34 towns and cities of the province will become rabies-free. (Imelda Castro-Rivero/PIA Ilocos Sur)