Saying that dogs are liable for over 99% of human deaths due to rabies, DOH-CALBARZON Regional Director Eduardo Janairo cited the importance of managing the dog population through responsible pet ownership, rabies vaccination, and spaying/neutering to reduce the incidence of rabies in a community.
Records from the Regional Rabies Prevention and Control Unit showed a total of 92,474 animal bites cases in CALABARZON for 2018.
The province of Rizal has the highest number of cases with 28,430, followed by Cavite with 20,857 and Batangas with 16,116; Laguna - 14,638 and Quezon - 12,433. There were 30 recorded deaths from rabies.
Janairo cited the need to limit the dog population in the community specifically in areas where they are unmanaged and tends to roam around.
“We need to reduce the problems they may cause in order to facilitate more effective rabies control,” he said.
“Community cooperation is very important including responsible pet ownership, better veterinary care, and regular dog vaccination will reduce the risk of rabies transmission,” he added.
To prevent and control rabies in areas where there is a high incidence of animal bites cases, the DOH-Calabarzon region, introduced OPLAN RED to all Provincial Veterinary Offices and local government units.
Janairo said there is a need to fully implement in these areas the plan including training on population control like neutering and spaying for rabies prevention and control.
It includes the identification and classification of provinces, municipalities, cities, and barangays into high risk, medium, low, candidate free zone and officially rabies-free zone.
He said spaying and neutering is part of the dog/cat population control activity under the Rabies Prevention and Control Program.
“This activity will not only reduce the number of unwanted dogs/cats roaming the streets but it will also be beneficial to the animals because it reduces the risk of acquiring reproductive related diseases and illnesses,” he said.
He added these are among the cost-effective means to curb the spread of rabies in the community and to stop dogs from roaming around the roads
“The less stray dogs in the streets the safer the people in the community,” Janairo said.
A total of 215 dogs and cats were spayed in Cavite during the four-day activity. There were 52 in Tanza, 55 in Trece Martires City, 58 in Cavite City and 50 in General Trias.
“It will also prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. I encouraged every responsible pet owner to spay your pet because it is the best protection from these diseases,” he added.