Anti-rabies exercise still on, pet owners reminded to keep animals within house compounds

Dr Adrian Susin Ambud

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Apr 8: Pet owners have been warned that the councils will take away their pets if they are allowed out of their house compounds, even during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, as part of its ongoing effort to prevent the spread of rabies in Sarawak.

Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud said the exercise to control rabies is ongoing albeit on a small scale during MCO.

“All the councils are still doing it. So I hope pet owners will keep their pets within their own house compounds and not let them roam the streets,” Dr Adrian told DayakDaily today.

He called those allowing their pets to escape from their houses as being irresponsible as rabies has yet to be contained in Sarawak.

Commenting on the two rabies cases in Sibu where a five year old girl died of disease, Dr Adrian said the Sibu Rural Municipal Council has been doing all the stray dog removal from that area.

Meanwhile, in a press release, the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services said there was no proof that pets such as cats and dogs could spread Covid-19 to humans.

“Pets such as dogs and cats can be infected by Covid-19 from a person who has been positive of the virus,” said the statement.

It quoted two cases in Hong Kong whereby dogs were infected through their owners who were tested positive with the virus.

“The test conducted on the dogs showed the presence of genetic material from the Covid-19 virus. However, the dog was not showing any clinical signs of disease. And there is no evidence that dogs play a role in the spread of this human disease or that they become sick,” read the statement which quoted the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The OIE assured that it will continue to conduct tests to understand if and how different animals could be affected by Covid-19.

“The OIE will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available,” it added.

The department also advised the people to continue to exercise personal hygiene in handling their pets.

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