Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), in support of World Rabies Day 2012, will hold an activity including an exhibition and game booths from 11am to 6pm tomorrow (September 17) until Tuesday (September 18) at the Atrium, 1/F, Dragon Centre, Sham Shui Po to raise public awareness and understanding of responsible pet ownership and the importance of rabies prevention.
There will be display panels on dog licensing and microchipping and vaccination against rabies. Pamphlets will also be distributed.
"Hong Kong has a good track record of rabies control and has been rabies-free for many years. Maintenance of our rabies-free status hinges on the effective rabies regulatory regime and co-operation from the public," an AFCD spokesman said today (September 16).
Rabies is a fatal disease and can be transmitted from infected dogs to humans through dog bites. It is estimated that over 55,000 people, mostly in Africa and Asia, die of rabies every year.
"Although the last animal rabies case was reported in 1987, we should stay vigilant and take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the disease," the spokesman said.
A comprehensive anti-rabies programme has been implemented by the department, with vaccination as the key measure. Under the Rabies Ordinance, all dogs aged over five months must be vaccinated against rabies, licensed and microchipped. Offenders are liable to a maximum penalty of $10,000.For more information please visit: www.pets.gov.hk/en_dog_1_4_1.php
Currently, about 180,000 dogs with valid licences are vaccinated.
To ensure an adequate level of protection against rabies, dogs must be re-vaccinated every three years when the dog licence is renewed.
Vaccination is available from private veterinary surgeons or at the AFCD's four animal management centres.
"As a precautionary measure, people who are bitten by dogs should immediately seek medical attention and report the case to the Police, who will forward the information to the AFCD for investigation. People should also observe good hygiene and avoid feeding stray dogs," the spokesman said.
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