Agusan town requires dog owners to register their pets
- Ben Serrano () - June 10, 2003 - 12:00am
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur — The alarming rate of dog-bite deaths here has prompted the provincial council to pass a law that aims to monitor and control the local dog population.

Provincial board member Santiago Cane Jr. said the new Dog and Rabies Control Ordinance, which the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial council) passed last month, now requires dog owners to register their pets aged more than three months and above at the newly-created Dogs and Rabies Control Coordinating Bodies to be established in every barangay.

The ordinance, Cane said, will deem unlawful the possession of unvacinnated or unregistered dogs, whether domesticated or tamed.

Owners with unvaccinated or unregistered canines will be fined P500 and may even face imprisonment, he added.

The canine regulation act, which Cane authored, also requires male dogs not intended for breeding purposes to be castrated in order to control the growing canine population in the province.

Dog breeders, on the other hand, are ordered to secure a permit from the municipal mayor first before starting a breeding business.

Cane believes that the new provincial statute will compel dog owners to be more responsible.

He noted that unlike in the United States where dogs are kept strictly at home, Filipino dog owners, especially those in the rural areas, let their pets stray into the streets despite a code stipulating that loose dogs will be impounded by authorities.

Cane estimated that less than 10 percent of the province’s 50,000 dog population has been injected with anti-rabies vaccine.

Rabies-related deaths in the province have risen to more than 900 in 2002 alone and most of the dog-bite victims in the province were children, he added.

The Dog and Rabies Control Ordinance, Cane said, is in line with Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward Plaza’s health campaign in the province.

Gov. Plaza recently launched a health program called "Serbisyong Pangkalusugan Para Sa Katawan" which seeks to reduce deaths caused by all kinds of illnesses, including rabies.

Provincial board member Lamberto de Leon, for his part, pointed out that the ordinance is just putting the National Law on Stray Dogs into practice.

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus residing in an infected animal’s saliva and is mainly transmitted to humans through bites and scratches.

AGUSAN DOG DOG AND RABIES CONTROL ORDINANCE DOGS AND RABIES CONTROL COORDINATING BODIES NATIONAL LAW RABIES SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN SANTIAGO CANE JR. SERBISYONG PANGKALUSUGAN PARA SA KATAWAN STRAY DOGS SUR GOVERNOR ADOLPH EDWARD PLAZA
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