Rabies under control in Gauteng - MEC

2012-09-17 18:08
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Rabies is under control in Gauteng, says agriculture and rural development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza. She also reminded pet owners that not vaccinating one’s animals is illegal.

Johannesburg - Rabies is under control in Gauteng, agriculture and rural development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said on Monday.

"The presence of rabies in an area must always be considered as extremely serious," she told reporters in Johannesburg.

"So far so good; since the Fourways scare but also since the death of the little girl, Gauteng had really been able to control rabies."

Mayathula-Khosa said it was compulsory for all cats and dogs to be vaccinated against rabies, and failure to do so was illegal under the Animal Diseases Act of 1984.

"We have a law that is very clear as to what we should do to enforce it," she said.

If people failed to vaccinate their pets and someone got bitten, that household would be charged.

Gauteng director for animal health Dr Dietana Nemundzivhadi, said it seemed there was no rabies in Protea.

She said rabies accounted for 55 000 deaths in Africa each year despite being preventable.

"From 2006 to 2012 there have been 106 deaths from rabies in South Africa."

Children were the most vulnerable group, especially those under the age of 15 years, Mayathula-Khosa said.

September 28 is World Rabies Day and there will be free vaccinations across the province.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nandi mayathula-khoza  |  johannesburg  |  health and safety
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