Fighting Rabies At The Frontline

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PRESS RELEASE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

26th of August 2021

FIGHTING RABIES AT THE FRONTLINE

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has joined forces with the Department of Agriculture’s veterinary services department in a bold attempt to contain the spread of the recently reported Rabies outbreak.   The team, going from house to house in Khayelitsha, where 2 cases of rabies were confirmed by the Department earlier this week, hopes to vaccinate at least 70% of the pet population in the affected area in a bid to eliminate rabies and save both animal and human lives.  

CEO Moyo Ndukwana says “Our main priority at the moment is preventing further transmission and infection.  Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease and we are working to ensure that pets in the affected area are vaccinated without delay.  We remain in service to animals and people in need regardless of the challenge”.  

Malcolm Cupido, Control Animal Health Technician at the Department’s Veterinary Services Department says “ We started vaccinating dogs and cats in the area yesterday and we are thankful for the assistance of the SPCA who will help us to increase the rate at which we are currently vaccinating.  We encourage pet owners to bring their animals to us, vaccinations are subsidised by the Department of Agriculture and are being done at no charge to the public”. The vaccination is also being offered free of charge from the SPCA’s Animal Hospital in Grassy Park.

In terms of legislation (The Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No 35 of 1984), owners of dogs and cats must have their pets vaccinated against Rabies to protect them from contracting the disease.

“It can be very difficult to recognise and diagnose rabies in an animal as the signs can be varied and can be confused with other diseases and conditions. Says the SPCA’s Head Veterinarian Dr Esté Spies.  “Behavioural changes can range from severe, sudden aggression to abnormally, tame behaviour. Other abnormal neurological signs include but are not limited to; ‘fly-snapping’, ‘bone-in-throat’, vocalising and disorientation. The only way to prevent the spread of this disease in animals and to protect your community, is through ensuring your animals, both dog and cats, are vaccinated.’’

It is estimated that worldwide at least 55 000 people die of rabies every year. Do not become part of this statistic – protect yourself by having your pet vaccinated against rabies!  If you are bitten, any wounds must be washed and flushed for approximately 5-10 minutes using soap and running water and medical help must be sought immediately.  If your pet is bitten, please seek veterinary assistance as quickly as possible.

Please call the State Veterinary Boland Office 021-8085253 or the SPCA on 0217004145 for any Rabies Related Enquiries.

Ends

The SPCA's Thembi Nomkala with a Khayelitsha resident
SPCA Animal Health Technician Lwando Mabudo vaccinates a Khayelitsha resident's cat
The SPCA's Thembi Nomkala with a Khayelitsha resident

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