Free mass rabies vaccination in Kuching on July 28, August 4

A member of the public holds his dog secure before it is vaccinated at the mass rabies vaccination programme in Taman Heng Guan, Matang. - file pic

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KUCHING, July 23: The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) will be carrying out free mass rabies vaccination campaigns here on July 28 and August 4.

On July 28, it would be at SJK (C) Chung Hua Batu 10 and Sg Maong Community Hall. On August 4, the campaign would be at the Sg Apong basketball court and at the Association of Churches in Sarawak building. It will be held from 9am to 2pm on both days.

In a statement today, the department reminded those want to vaccinate their pets, especially dogs, to bring along their MyKads and their pets’ vaccination cards, if any.

DVS said the vaccination would only be free for dogs aged three months and above. Owners are advised to bring their dogs for rabies vaccination once a year to ensure their immunity towards rabies is at optimal level.

“Please muzzle your dogs if they are known to be wary or aggressive towards strangers or other dogs. All dogs must be leashed at all times. Please bring your own tools or plastics to pick up your dogs’ poo if they defecate at the mass vaccination venue.

“Owners are encouraged to bring their dogs for canine infectious disease vaccination (core vaccines) at licensed private veterinary clinics to avoid their dogs from contacting diseases that could be mistaken for rabies,” said DVS.

The department added that people staying more than 10km from the mass vaccination venue were encouraged to either wait for the mass vaccination programme in their area or get their dogs vaccinated at licensed private veterinary clinic.

DVS said those who missed rabies mass vaccination campaigns could obtain vaccination from any Sarawak Veterinary Division office for RM25 per dog.

For Kuching Division, the DVS office is at Lot 877, Semenggok Road, Off 12th Mile, Kuching/Serian Road. For inquiries, call 082-628248/50/55 or fax tp 082-629628. For Samarahan Division, vaccination can be obtained at DVS Samarahan Divisional Office at Jalan Datuk Mohd Musa. For inquiries, call 082-671221 or fax to 082-671039.

“Please stay tuned to the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (SSPCA) or Department of Veterinary Services’ Facebook announcements for upcoming rabies mass vaccination venues,” DVS added.

In view of the spread of rabies, DVS also issued a warning to the people not to move pets into or from outbreak divisions (Kuching, Samarahan, Serian, Sarikei, and Sri Aman divisions).

It advised pet owners not to abandon animals as this could potentially cause further spread of rabies and endanger people’s lives.

In addition, animal lovers are advised to avoid adopting stray dogs from outbreak divisions or from unknown sources. If they intended to adopt, they should provide them with veterinary care and rabies vaccination and then confine the animals in cages for one month to monitor their behaviour and health status.

“If bitten, wash your wounds with soap and rinse under clean running tap water for at least 15 minutes, followed by disinfectant, preferably povidone iodine. Go to the nearest government hospital or clinics for further treatment.

“Be responsible towards your own pets. Vaccinate your pets with rabies vaccine (mammals), neuter your pets to avoid unwanted litters and aggression during mating seasons, and confine your pets in your premises. Avoid letting them roam without leash or mixing freely with strays,” DVS warned.

DVS advised the public if they observed suspected rabid animals to surrender the animals or call these numbers: Kuching Division – 082-612949/611607; Sibu Division – 084-330224; Bintulu Division – 086-335770; Miri Division – 085-411866.

For collection of strays, call the local councils or the Sarawak State Operation Room at 082-443991. — DayakDaily