550 Mufulira dogs vaccinated

THE department of veterinary services in Mufulira has vaccinated 550 dogs against rabies.
Last year, Mufulira recorded 380 dog bites and 86 people have been bitten in the first quarter of this year.
District veterinary officer Chindo Simwinga said in an interview that the department has embarked on a programme to vaccinate dogs against rabies,
“This year, we are targeting to vaccinate 2,000 dogs against rabies in Mufulira. We have received 2,000 doses of vaccines and so far 550 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies,” Dr Simwinga said.
He said Mufulira is prone to rabies due to an increase in the number of jackals in the thick bushes of Kafironda.
He said jackals are carriers of rabies and usually transmit the viral disease when they come into contact with domesticated dogs, especially during the mating period.
“We have a lot of Jackals in Mufulira. This is the reason the district is prone to rabies. When a dog is on heat, it walks several kilometres looking for a mate and this is the time that it mingles with jackals, which are carriers of rabies,” Dr Simwinga said.
He also said dogs from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stray into Zambia and transmit rabies.
Dr Simwinga said the department of veterinary services plans to vaccinate dogs in townships near the border.
He said the department will also work closely with Mufulira Municipal Council to cull stray dogs.
Dr Simwinga said so far this year, 38 stray dogs have been shot dead in Mufulira.

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