THERE has been a reported increase in the number of dogs infected with rabies in Bulawayo raising fears of a rabies outbreak in the city.
This has prompted the Bulawayo City Council to issue a notice informing residents to keep their dogs in enclosures and indicating that no resident would be allowed to keep more than two dogs.
In a notice published on Friday last week, council acting town clerk Sikhangele Zhou said the local authority was shocked by the increase in the number of dogs that tested positive for rabies.
“The City of Bulawayo has noted that there is an increasing number of rabies-positive dogs and people who are bitten by stray dogs in the city,” said Zhou.
“Dog owners and the general public are hereby advised that in terms of the Bulawayo Dog Licensing and Control bylaws, no person shall keep in the council area more than two dogs on any property measuring less than 2 000 cubic metres. No person shall allow his dogs to roam outside his premises without restrain.”
Zhou said dogs should only be kept where the property is securely fenced, walled and gated and a hedge was not permissible in the circumstances.
“Dogs within council area shall be vaccinated against rabies and licensed,” Zhou said.
“Please be advised that the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Department of Veterinary Services and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will be enforcing a tie up order as from February 23 2015 to April 22 2015. All stray dogs found during this period will be shot.”
She advised dog owners to secure their premises and those with more than two dogs to surrender the excess dogs to SPCA Thorngrove before February 23.