Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) through the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Production have expressed commitment to promoting spaying and neutering of dogs and cats in an effort to save animals, human lives and reduce rabies transmission in Malawi.
LSPCA and the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Production said this during World Spay day commemoration held Tuesday at Area 23 in Lilongwe.
In older to control the spread of rabies and ensure a healthier dog population and responsible pet ownership, the LSPCA, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) and other partners have joined hands with government to deliver free spay and neuter services to dogs in the country starting from within urban and per-urban areas.
According to LSPCA Programs Director, Lieza Swennen, LSPCA is offering the free spay and neuter of dogs and cats services to people who would normally not afford veterinary services to reduce rabies transmission in the country.
The Programs Director said the month of February is spay or neuter awareness month for veterinary and animal welfare professionals.
“Business owners and individuals should join hands in the spay or neuter of animals to decrease the number of homeless animals living on the street by caring for the animals and put them in shelters,” said Lieza Swennen.
In an interview, Director of the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Production, Dr Patrick Chikungwa said it is important to reduce the number of pets particularly dogs and cats, which pose a great risk to the general public in terms of rabies transmission.
“Rabies poses a serious threat to humans and we can reduce this risk by vaccinating dogs as well as controlling the dogs’ population and educating the public about responsible pet ownership,” said Chikungwa.
Chikungwa further said the country is experiencing a marked increase in dog population and several dog bite cases which are reported to the hospitals for Post Exposure Prophylaxis.
As such, he said the program would also help minimize the spread of rabies impact through dog population control.
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