In pursuance of the Stronger Delta agenda and the promotion of public health in the State, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have flagged off the 2020/2021 Rabies Vaccination Campaign and the distribution of biosecurity inputs to pig farmers and poultry marketers across Delta State.
Delta State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Julius Egbedi who performed the flag off in Asaba stated that the programme became necessary in order to forestall the outbreak of various animal diseases such as rabies in dogs and cats and other animals in the State.
Hon. Egbedi said, “Rabies like all contagious diseases does not respect boundaries and therefore is tackled nationally”. He further said that the rabies disease is a highly fatal zoonotic disease of dogs and cats, man and other animals which is spread through bite and saliva of infected animals.
He explained the symptoms of the disease to include aggressiveness, heavy salivation, restlessness and general change in behaviour which has been termed “mad dog” syndrome.
According to the agriculture commissioner, a bite or wound contacted from a rabid dog or an open wound coming in contact with the saliva of an infected animal is enough to transmit the disease which may lead to death.
The Commissioner also said that due to the fatality index of the disease, the State Government approved the annual vaccination of dogs and cats against rabies, even as he said that the Federal Government supported the campaign with some inputs through the Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the form of rabies vaccines.
Hon. Egbedi also disclosed that the State Government had provided some disinfectants and motorized spraying machines to be distributed to pig farmers in the state following the outbreak of African Swine Fever in the second and third quarter of 2020.
He stated that the inputs would be distributed substantially through the Area Veterinary Officers across the 25 local government areas of the State as invitation was limited due to the COVID-19 preventive protocols, even as he said that poultry farmers and marketers would benefit from the gesture.
Speaking at the occasion, the Delta State Director of Veterinary Service, Dr Charles Diai said that the World Health Organization (WHO), has proposed the eradication of rabies by the year 2030, even as he urged the beneficiaries but make use of the input given to them and called on Deltans to bring their dogs and cats for vaccination.
Present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural resources, Mr Bennett Agama, the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr John Onovroke, the Chairman, Association of Pig Farmers, Delta State chapter, Hon. Jerry Ossai, chairman poultry marketer, Ogbeogonogo market, Asaba among others.
Highpoint of the event was the flag-off by the agriculture commissioner and the distribution of motorized spraying machines to pig farmers and poultry marketers in the State.