Home South Africa News Rabies is out of control as South Coast residents demand pet lockdown

Rabies is out of control as South Coast residents demand pet lockdown


Rabies is out of control in some areas south of Durban and is likely to get worse during the lockdown when state inoculation drives will come to a halt. This is according to Tracey Girling, manager of eManzimtoti SPCA, who believes a rabies lockdown is desperately needed.

She said rabies this year was at its worst, with 16 cases since January – the same number as the whole of last year.

“Like the coronavirus lockdown, we need a rabies lockdown. People are not vaccinating their animals. It’s as simple as that,” said Girling who has had to be treated for the lethal disease this year.

“There are too many dogs roaming the streets.”

She said a rabies lockdown would see all wandering dogs caught, and those without owners put down.

She said during the lockdown the SPCA would be limited to responding to emergencies and would not be dealing with people. This would include not offering rabies shots.

Lisa Zank, a vet at the town’s Seadoone Veterinary Clinic, where two positive cases were dealt with in January, agreed there were too many dogs roaming outside, which rabid dogs are inclined to do.

She said the two cases her clinic dealt with were unvaccinated dogs, as was a third that showed the symptoms of rabies but which tested negative.

Doonside Veterinary Hospital vet, Michael Hoole, said he had seen two cases of rabies this month and that the facility would be open for emergency cases during lockdown.

These would include puppies ready for their first shot at 12 weeks and dogs that needed inoculations as a precaution against stray dogs roaming the streets and making contact through gates and fences.

Among the rabies cases in the area south of Durban, at least one has involved a kitten.

Rabies cases have also been reported recently in KwaNongoma, involving a cow, and, near Eshowe, a puppy.

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Source: The Independent on Saturday