SA to host World Veterinary Congress

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pretoria - The South African Veterinary Association is set to host the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town in October, Cabinet announced today. 

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said the congress will be the culmination of the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession in South Africa. 

"Cabinet noted that the South African Veterinary Association will host the World Veterinary Congress in Cape Town from 10-14 October 201," he said at the post-Cabinet media briefing.

Veterinary research in Southern Africa has its origins in the 1896 outbreak of Rinderpest pandemic (a highly fatal disease in cattle), which threatened food security. 

During that outbreak, South Africa developed, in a very short period of six weeks, the essentials of what proved to be the first effective vaccine against Rinderpest. 

Since then, South Africa has been amongst the world leaders in veterinary services and research.

The declaration of Rabies Month in South Africa comes amid the celebration of the World Veterinary Year (2011), as the global veterinary community celebrates 250 years of veterinary education and the contribution of the veterinary profession to mankind. 

Globally, 28 September has been declared World Rabies Day, with the mission to raise awareness about the impact of human and animal rabies and the relative ease of its prevention.

Despite rabies being preventable in humans through prompt medical treatment following exposure, more than 55 000 people die annually in the world due to rabies, most cases being in Africa and Asia. 

The increased occurrence of rabies outbreaks in densely populated areas within South Africa has resulted in the country taking it a step further, declaring September 2011 as Rabies 
Month in South Africa.

Rabies is a fatal disease of animals that may also be fatal in humans if not treated immediately after exposure. All warm blooded animals can contract and then transmit rabies.

According to legislation, all pet owners must ensure that their dogs and cats are vaccinated at three months of age against rabies, with the first booster vaccination being given between one and nine months later, and thereafter booster vaccinations must be given every three years. 

Above this, it is a legal requirement to immediately report all suspected cases of rabies in animals to the nearest state veterinarian, animal health technician or private veterinarian. - BuaNews

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