World Rabies Day is a global event, created to raise awareness and advocate for rabies elimination, and designed to unite all people, organisations, and stakeholders against rabies.
It takes place on September 28, which marks the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s death, the French chemist and microbiologist, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
The Animal Welfare Society of South Africa will once again be doing its part to help prevent the spread of this potentially deadly disease by offering free rabies vaccinations from Wednesday, September 22 until the end of the month.
The first rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks (3 months) of age, followed by a booster vaccination between 1 to 12 months later. Thereafter, a booster every three years.
By law, all dogs and cats in South Africa must be vaccinated against rabies, and in high-risk areas, annual vaccination is strongly recommended.
If dogs and cats are effectively vaccinated and boosted as required, it creates a buffer of protection for humans, as well as against other wildlife species that may have rabies.
Even though rabies is 99% fatal, it’s 100% preventable, and vaccinating 70% of dogs in at risk areas can eliminate canine rabies, the Animal Welfare Society of SA says.