Friday May 25, 2018
Text:| Print|

Free rabies vaccines aim to improve prevention

2012-05-10 10:40 Shanghai Daily    comment

Shanghai legislators plan to pass new rules to offer free vaccinations to dogs raised by villagers to help improve rabies-prevention efforts.

Rabies killed 30 people in Shanghai between 2006 and the end of this March, including 22 bitten by dogs on streets, Shanghai Health Bureau officials said yesterday. All 22 victims were attacked in the city's rural outskirts - in Pudong, Fengxian, Jinshan, Qingpu districts and Chongming County.

Vaccination of home-raised dogs remains rare in some parts of the city's rural areas, according to the bureau.

Health bureau workers said it's difficult to get dog-raising households in the vast outskirts to vaccinate and license their pets. The group has a much lower awareness of rabies than downtown residents and also have cost concerns that often make them unwilling to license and vaccinate their pets.

The local canine-raising law, which took effect last May, slashes the dog-licensing fee from the previous 2,000 yuan (US$316) to only 500 yuan per year for dogs living inside the Inner Ring Road. The cost for dogs raised outside the benchmark road is eased from 1,000 yuan to 300 yuan.

Police credited the price cuts with encouraging downtown residents to license their pets, as licensed dogs tripled in a year since the law was enacted.

But the number didn't improve among the city's suburban residents, mostly villagers. The law also requires dog raisers to take pets to government-designated pet hospitals to get vaccination shots, which charge at least 60 yuan, a factor for cost-conscious villagers.

Legislators said yesterday they planned to pass new rules soon to remove the vaccination charge for dog raisers in the outlying villages.

The annual licensing costs for both downtown and suburban residents may also be further eased to encourage more to register their dogs for better rabies control, the lawmakers said yesterday. Police are also considering a new scheme to combine the licensing and vaccination spots to improve convenience.

By end of last month, more than 190,000 pet dogs raised in downtown districts had been vaccinated but during the same period only 150,000 were licensed.

The gap is partly caused by separation of the licensing and vaccination venues, police said. Some downtown dog raisers who only vaccinated the pets said they would be willing to also license the dogs if authority could save them a second trip. Dog raisers need to apply for a license at a police station while having dogs vaccinated at designated pet hospitals.

The number of licensed dogs in the rural areas is about 100,000, which remains nearly unchanged since the law's enactment, police said.

Comments (0)

Copyright ©1999-2011 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.