Luangwa District Commissioner, Julius Sikasote has expressed concern with the increase in the number of stray and unvaccinated dogs in the district.
Mr Sikasote told ZANIS that a number of unvaccinated dogs being found in public places such as the bus station and the market places are a danger to the school-going children.
“School going children are at risk of being bitten by these unvaccinated dogs,” he said.
The District Commissioner has since directed the department of Veterinary to intensify sensitization of dog owners on the importance of dog vaccination and registration.
Speaking in a separate interview, Acting Veterinary officer, Happy Nkhoma said his department is working in partnership with the Luangwa Local Authority to manage and control rabies in the district.
“We are working with local government to intensify sensitization on the importance of vaccinations and securing the domestic animals, as well as protecting the people from contacting Rabies,” he said.
He added that the Veterinary department in the district has embarked on vaccination exercise of all the dogs to prevent the spread of rabies.
Mr. Nkhoma said the vaccination exercise is in line with the control of dogs act number 247 which requires dog owners to register their dogs with the Local Authority and carry out routine vaccinations.
He added that rabies transmission can be prevented if dog owners complied with the above-stated dog act.
The Acting Veterinary officer warned the dog owners that his department will crop all the stray and unvaccinated dogs in the district.
He has since urged dog owners to confine and take their dogs for vaccination.
And one of the dog owners Wise Mphande said the vaccinations of dogs will help reduce the costs incurred when unvaccinated dog bites a person.
He called for the need to have all the dogs in the district vaccinated to eradicate the spread of rabies
Meanwhile, Mr Nkhoma has cautioned livestock farmers and domestic animal owners in the district to desist from transporting the animals to and from nearby countries without valid documents.
He noted that the district bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe interact closely with Luangwa residents in terms of business which includes the movement of animals.
He said this is in line with animal health act no 27 of 2010 of the law of Zambia, which requires livestock farmers and domestic animal owners to acquire valid documents before transporting the animals to other districts and countries.
Mr Nkhoma explained that government has put in place this measure to control the importation of disease outbreaks and diseases especially that the country is fighting the COVID19 pandemic.
He added that Luangwa district will be at risk if such illegal activities are not curtailed.
“Luangwa district is at risk of disease importation because of the illegal movements of animals and other related businesses occurring with the neighbouring countries,” he said.