Complete ban on dog movement at Sarawak-Kalimantan borders

Sarawak Rabies Operation Phase Six starts from Aug 28 to Sept 12. Photo credit: Sarawak Disaster Information - Rabies Facebook.

KUCHING, Aug 23: The State Disaster Management Committee has imposed a total ban on dog movement in or out of the state at the borders between Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia with immediate effect.

The Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, when chairing the coordination meeting here today for the coming State Anti Rabies Operation Phase Six, disclosed that all government agencies officers manning the entry and exit points at the borders have been directed to enforce this total ban.

He said officers should communicate with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak if they needed any assistance on this ban by contacting its State Operation Room at 082-628248/250 or 016-2557267.

Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, emphasised that the ban was another step to eradicate the Rabies outbreak in the state under its surveillance and monitoring strategy.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak Anti-Rabies Operation Phase Six covering Sibu, Kanowit, Kapit, Song, Saratok, Sarikei, Meradong and Julau districts would begin on Aug 28 to Sept 12.

“To date (since 2018), we have vaccinated 10,203 dogs (34 per cent) in Sibu district, 578 (38.53 per cent) in Kanowit, 693 (37 per cent) in Kapit, 311 (21 per cent) in Song, 328 (35.46 per cent) in Saratok and 5,900 (80 per cent) in Sarikei,” he said.

“For the Meradong district, DVS Sarawak had vaccinated 2,478 (83 per cent) dogs and 2,040 dogs (68 per cent) in Julau,” he added.

Uggah revealed that a total of 5,998 stray dogs had been removed in the five operations so far.

He also expressed his disappointment that some people who had been bitten by their pet dogs and cats were taking such incidences lightly.

“They do not care at all to seek immediate treatment at the anti rabies clinic at government hospitals. They believe they will not be affected which can be a fatal mistake as what had happened to one or two victims recently,” he advised.

“This is despite the many publicity campaigns, talks and statements and radio announcements and reminders that we have done,” he lamented.

According to official statistics, there were some 300 dog bites per week recorded in the state.

“But I am also glad the majority know how to treat themselves upon being bitten. I would also like to advise those wanting to adopt any puppy or kitten to know their history, like whether they have been vaccinated and when,” he reminded.

“The vaccination is only effective after a month of being given,” he added.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ik Pahon, State Safety and Enforcement Unit Director Dato Dr Chai Khin Chung, deputy state police chief DCP Dev Kumar and DVS Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud were present.— DayakDaily