The Anambra Government has charged owners of unvaccinated dogs to restrain them from straying and roaming about the streets.
The government warned that if such dogs bite a person, its owner would be prosecuted.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Forster Ihejiofor, gave the warning on Tuesday during the launch of the 2022 free Anti-Rabies Vaccination Campaign in Awka.
The event was organised to mark this year’s World Rabies Day in the state.
The theme for the celebration is “One health, zero death”.
Ihejiofor said that the vaccination of infected domestic animals, which were major carriers, remains the best way to prevent fatalities.
He said that the Federal Government was partnering with states to bring the intervention to residents to prevent fatalities from bites of infected animals.
According to the commissioner, the only cure for rabies is to prevent it.
“The vaccination, which will be administered free of charge, will be carried out in the next five days in the communities and 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
“The world has more than enough troubles for us to give room for something preventable.
“It may not be you, it may be your friend or relation that may fall victims.
“Your only responsibility is to bring your animals to the vaccination venue.
“We implore you to spread the information so the state can become safe from possible menace of rabies.
“There are consequences, if you do not vaccinate your animals.
“If your animal bites someone, it can be confiscated and in a case of fatality, the state is at liberty to try you for murder,” the commissioner said.
Earlier, a Director of Veterinary Services in the ministry, Dr Basil Ideh, said that the state took delivery of 3,500 Anti-Rabies vaccines out of 4,100 allocated to the state.
He urged dog owners and breeders to ensure they took care of their animals as prescribed in the dog regulations.
“You must keep your dogs safe and away from other strange dogs and cats.
“Schedule regular medical checkups, feed them well and vaccinate them annually against rabies.
“And more importantly, do not allow them to stray and roam the streets scavenging for food,” Ihejiofor said. (NAN)