Belgian pet owners reminded to be vigilant on international rabies awareness day
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    Belgian pet owners reminded to be vigilant on international rabies awareness day

    Credit: Belga

    Pet owners (dogs, cats, ferrets…) who are travelling with their furry friend must make sure their animal is vaccinated against rabies. 

    Belgium’s Federal Food Chain Security Agency (Afsca) issued the reminder on Saturday, during the international rabies awareness day.

    Afsca is responsible for the prevention and control of regimented animal diseases.  

    “Past efforts have ensured Belgium has been free of rabies since 2001. Vaccinating against rabies has no longer been obligatory in Belgium since 2016. But anyone who takes their dog or cat abroad or brings an animal into Belgium has to get them vaccinated. This is necessary because rabies kills both humans and animals. We can’t take any risks,” said Jean-François Heymans, head of the Belgian veterinary services and director of Animal Health at Afsca. 

    424 dogs and cats were brought into Belgium from abroad and tested in 2018. Afsca said 47 animals were turned away and three had to be put down because of the public health risk. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times