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PIA Press Release
2007/09/14

RA 9582 to penalize owners who fail to vaccinate their dogs

Cebu City (14 September) -- A new law will soon be implemented that seeks to penalize dog owners that fail to have their dogs immunized and those that allow their dogs on the loose.

RA 9582 or the Anti-Rabies Act signed last May 25 is still in the process of finalizing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) with the general aim of achieving the status of the Philippines as a rabies-free nation.

Dog owners are forewarned to have their dogs vaccinated from rabies or else pay the fine of P2,000 as soon as the law takes effect. The IRR is hopefully expected to be finished by October or November, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA-7) rabies control program coordinator Rachel Caldeleña.

Caldeleña said Agriculture Sec. Arthur Yap has asked partner agencies like the Dept. of Health and the Department of Education to help in finalizing the IRR.

Other highlights of the law include a fine of P25T to those who refuse to pay for the medical expenses of a person bitten by the owner’s dog and P10T for the refusal to have their dogs placed under observation in case the animal has bitten a person.

DA-7 Diagnostic Laboratory Chief Dr. Teddy Dabocol stressed dogs that have bitten a person must be observed for five to seven days for clinical symptoms of rabies. Symptoms include aggressiveness, restlessness, biting any objects within reach and at a late stage the dogs drool with saliva before paralysis occur that will eventually lead to death, Dabocol said.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of warm blooded animals, including humans. The disease has a long incubation period of six months and symptoms may take several weeks to appear after infection. However, once symptoms appear, rabies is always fatal to animals, this is learned.

Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. Infection primarily occurs via bite wounds, or infected saliva entering an open cut or wound or mucous membrane such as those in the mouth, nasal cavity or eyes.

Under the law, dog owners must exercise responsibility by tying their dogs within their immediate surroundings while negligence of this particular stipulation warrants a fine of P500.

Trading dogs is also prohibited under the Anti-Rabies Act and those found guilty will be made to pay P5T in fine.

Cebu City Veterinarian Dr. Alice Utlang lauded the new law saying that it is time for people to be conscious about sincerely taking care of their dogs. Utlang revealed that to complement the Anti-Rabies Act, Cebu City will penalize those dog owners who fail to register their dogs.

Utlang said dogs in Cebu City must be registered where the dogs will be given tags as a sign that it has been registered which means the animal has undergone vaccination. Dog owners whose pets are found without dog tags will be issued a citation ticket with a corresponding penalty of P2,000 which is on top of the penalties for specific violations found under the new law that will be charged against the dog owner. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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