DURING the course of the last few months, rabies has made the headlines numerous times.
Until last week, it was a call by the KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to all pet owners to proactively fulfil their legal obligation in having their dogs and cats vaccinated against the dread disease.
Despite this anti-rabies drive taken to all districts, both urban and rural, throughout the province, King Cetshwayo District last week suffered its first confirmed human rabies death in recent years, when a young eNseleni child was confirmed to have died after contracting the disease.
According to a local vet, ignorance surrounding rabies boils down to a lack of education.
To help educate all residents in the King Cetshwayo District, the Rabies Awareness Body In eShowe (RABIES), founded and run by a local vet, has taken a stand against rabies by providing educational material at no charge.
With this information freely available, there is no excuse to put pets’ and people’s lives in danger by not vaccinating.
It is especially important for school teachers to obtain this information and distribute it to their learners, and even speak about it in the classroom.
Not only will this literature help educate people as to the importance of vaccinating pets against rabies, but it illustrates what must be done in the event of a person being bitten by a dog.
Search Rabies Awareness Body In eShowe on Facebook and send a message requesting the information.
The sad reality is that the world has the technology to eradicate rabies, yet the disease is still killing.
People must make the most of this free information, educate themselves and those around them so this disease, which has no place in society in this day and age, can be eradicated.
If 70% of animals are vaccinated against rabies, that would be sufficient to keep it under control.
Rabies vaccinations are annual, and a legal obligation. And for good reason.
While the disease can be vaccinated against, it cannot be cured once contracted.
And because it can be easily transferred from a scratch or a bite from a rabid animal, pet owners must view this in a serious light and take responsibility in upholding their side of pet ownership by vaccinating their animals.