The Bauchi State Government says it has inoculated 5,000 dogs against rabies across the 20 local government areas of the state.
The Director of the Veterinary Services in the state Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ibrahim Bello, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Bauchi.
Rabies is a deadly virus spread from the saliva of infected animals to humans.
It is usually spread through an animal bite. Animals most likely to spread rabies include dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and raccoons.
He said the vaccination exercise was being conducted under its free anti-rabies vaccination campaign designed to stem the spread of the disease in the state.
Bello said the ministry would also administer the anti-rabies vaccine to another 5,000 dogs and pets in the next round of immunization exercise billed to commence on Oct. 19, 2022.
He urged dog keepers and pet owners to avail themselves of the opportunity and present their pets for vaccination to protect them against zoonosis.
“The vaccine helps prepare pets’ immune system to fight disease-causing organisms.
“It contains antigens that resemble disease-causing pathogens and mildly stimulate the immune system,” he said.
The Director, however, decried the spate of stray dogs in major towns across the state, describing the trend as “alarming”.
He said many dogs had not been registered or licensed with relevant authorities, noting that a lot of rabies-infected dogs could be on the prowl.
The dogs, he said could be a potential source of transmitting rabies disease, especially unvaccinated ones.
Bello said properly kept dogs present great benefits of companionship, security, health, hunting and research purposes, among others.
Bello warned dog owners to desist from allowing them to prowl without vaccination, saying: “it’s dangerous for an unvaccinated dog to bite a person”.
The director further advised animal keepers, especially dogs to visit veterinary clinics for routine vaccination.