Governor Babatunde Fashola
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
Lagos State Government Wednesday launched a state-wide anti-rabies vaccination campaign, which it said, was put together to mark the 2012 World Rabies Day scheduled to take place Friday.
This was contained in a statement by Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, urging the pet owners, “are enjoined to take advantage of the free exercise at the nearest location to them.”
He said the state government had declared a four-day free anti-rabies vaccination exercise in all state-owned animal hospitals and veterinary clinics across the state for dogs, cats and monkeys.
Lawal said: “The state government deems it necessary “to launch vigorous enlightenment campaign on preventive measures and steps to take in case of any dog bite as this will expose people to the danger posed by rabies.
“Victims of dog bite are advised to watch the point of bite with soap and clean water, and then proceed to the nearest hospital. People are also enjoined not to kill the animal but send it to the Animal hospital or Veterinary clinics for medical examination or experiment.”
The commissioner also raised concerns on the danger of stray animals on the street of Lagos State, noting that the state government “has recently launched the Stray Animal Control Programme. The programme is aimed at fostering a culture of responsible livestock and pet ownership, which would be beneficial to the animal, the environment and ultimately the man.
“To also ensure continuous growth and betterment of the society and care for animals, government gears it effort towards improving animal health and welfare, this inform the plans to establish an Animal Rescue Centre in the state, which are well underway.”
“Report from the Vet department revealed that under-reported cases of dog bites and suspected rabies cases in man and animals are major hindrances to rabies control in the state. Government therefore urged the people of Lagos to join forces and work together on the global invitation to eliminate threat of rabies to both human and animals,” he said.