By Salisu Sani-Idris
Abuja – The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it will embark on free vaccination of Dogs and Cats in the territory against rabies.
The Director, Veterinary Services Department, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Dr Regina Adulugba, disclosed this while addressing Veterinary officers of the Secretariat on Friday at the FCT Veterinary Clinic in Nyanya, Abuja.
Adulugba said that the secretariat had procured enough vaccines and other necessary inputs to carry out the exercise free of charge as directed between now and Dec. 2019.
“We have fully mobilised all our Veterinary doctors and other health workers and we will be taking the campaign to all the Six Area Councils of the FCT to offer free vaccines.
“Therefore, I call on all pet owners to take advantage of the window to vaccinate their animals,” she said.
She warned the officers against unprofessional conducts as a team had been put in place to monitor their activities.
According to her, there has been an upsurge of rabies outbreak in the FCT in recent times.
She said that the secretariat was in addition to the daily routine clinical vaccination, embarking on a campaign to sensitise FCT residents on the importance of vaccinating their animals.
She advised residents to be cautious as the disease was highly fatal and was impossible to cure once the disease begins to manifest.
“I am calling on all residents not just dog and cat owners to be cautious because as at the moment, there has not been any confirmed cure for the disease.
“It is important to note also that not just dogs, even cats can be carriers of the rabies virus, so our best bet is to annually vaccinate these animals,” the director said.
On the Mambilla Barracks incidence, where a rabies dog attacked a baby, she said samples from the dog were sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), which tested positive for the virus.
She urged residents to ensure that they confine their pets, especially dogs to minimise the risk of attacks.
“Even the saliva from an infected pet can be dangerous so it is important to take caution,” Adulugba said.