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Encouraging responsible dog ownership in Africa
  1. Emmanuel Abraham Mpolya
  1. Department of Global Health and Biomedical Sciences, School of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania
  1. email: emmanuel.mpolya{at}

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According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, responsible pet ownership entails 14 key responsibilities, one of which is recognising that owning a pet requires the investment of both time and money.1 Many studies have recognised that responsible dog ownership is key in the fight against rabies.2-5 To successfully eliminate rabies, it is vital to ensure that a sufficiently high proportion of dogs are vaccinated, and responsible dog owners are more willing to pay for rabies vaccinations.6-9

A study by Mazeri and colleagues, summarised on p 281 of this issue of Vet Record, investigated the sociodemographic factors that predict low private rabies vaccination coverage in dogs in Blantyre, Malawi.10 Of the dogs recorded in this study, 99 per cent were owned, but only 3 per cent had been vaccinated independently at a private clinic. The study found that poverty, high housing density and the dog being male, a puppy, pregnant or lactating were negative predictors for private vaccination. On the other hand, neutered dogs and dogs that were …

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