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Beijing Steps up Rabies Vaccinations for Dogs
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Beijing health authorities have designated another 100 animal husbandry and veterinarian centers as animal anti-rabies inoculation points.


The city's general animal husbandry and veterinarian station said on Saturday that the total number of designated units was now 319.


The city is implementing mandatory anti-rabies inoculations among pet dogs. All dog owners are required to register their pets with public security authorities. Owners can have their dogs vaccinated for free at designated units if they present registration certificates.


Only 550,000 of the city's estimated one million dogs are registered.


More than 110,000 people received anti-rabies inoculations in Beijing after being bitten or scratched by dogs or cats in the first nine months.


The Ministry of Health website shows that 2,660 people died of rabies in China in 2004, compared with 159 reported fatalities in 1996.


In the first nine months, the country recorded 2,254 rabies cases, an increase of 29.69 percent over the same period last year.


Rabies accounted for 46 percent of all fatalities caused by infectious diseases reported on the Chinese mainland in October, when it claimed 326 lives nationwide, according to the ministry.


(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2006)

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