RABIES Alert – Gauteng

Hey Guys –

as you know, we enforced a new rule at the JHB Hunts: “No Vaccination Certificate, No Hunt!”… firstly – thanks for your co-operation in this matter 😀

Below, please find an article released by The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development:

* click on the above pic  if you would like to help us promote the welfare of animals and prevent animal cruelty*

Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) acts after more rabies confirmed in western and southern suburbs of Johannesburg

4 Sep 2010

The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has acted swiftly after two more rabies outbreaks in Eldorado and Kibler Park west and south of Johannesburg. This is after the outbreak in both Witpoortjie and Sophiatown were confirmed in the last two months.

The GDARD would like to warn the public of the threat to both people and their pets living in the area. The Department has reacted swiftly and already done ‘ring vaccinations’ around each outbreak. Larger scale vaccination programs will be launched starting with Sophiatown and surrounding areas on Monday, 6 September 2010.

The details of the massive campaigns will be released at a later stage.

All people who have been in contact with the rabid animals have been treated. It is important for people to note that they need to seek medical attention immediately after being bitten by infected animals. Such post-exposure treatment will prevent the development of the disease. Once symptoms have arisen (which can take up to six months after the bite), it is too late for treatment.

Rabies is a disease affecting the brain and can lead to the death of the person or animal involved. Symptoms vary widely and include: behavioural changes, aggressiveness, and paralysis. The virus occurs in great numbers in the saliva of rabid animals.Never touch or caress a strange, injured animal or one which appears to be sick.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development wishes to re-emphasise the following:

• It is compulsory for all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies.
Failure to vaccinate domestic pets is illegal and is a public health risk.

• Members of the public should not touch or caress a strange, injured animal or an
animal which appears to be sick.

• Any person or domestic pet, which may have been bitten by strange animals
during the last four weeks, are at risk of having contracted rabies. This should
be reported immediately to your local state veterinarian (011 821 7700) or your
local health authority 011 226 8300.

• Any animal which has not been vaccinated, should immediately be taken to your
private veterinarian to be vaccinated. In order to ensure that there is a high
degree of immunity against an outbreak of rabies in pets, the State will carry out
a rabies mass vaccination campaign as follows:

A. Sophiatown Shopping Centre
B. Union Sports Ground

Time: 10h00 – 18h00
Dates:6 – 10 September 2010

Everyone is encouraged to bring their pets for vaccination. All dogs and cats over the
age of three months that were not vaccinated in the last month must be vaccinated.
Please take note that this is a free service.

The Directorate of Veterinary Services is confident that with the co-operation of all
role players – including the province’s Department of Health, the Joburg Region B
Environmental Health authorities, as well as the public – this situation can quickly be
brought under control.

For further information contact:

Mr J Motshegoa, Germiston State Veterinarian’s Office
Cell: 011821 7700/22

Media contact person:
Makoko Lekola
Tel: 011 355 1347
Cell: 072 2743692
E-mail: Makoko.Lekola@gauteng.gov.za

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