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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, Feb 18: Kampung Hilir in Sri Aman has been declared the 67th Rabies-infected area in Sarawak today after a 60-year-old woman was bitten by her infected dog.
Sarawak Veterinary Services (DVSS) said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has declared Kampung Hilir a newly infected area seeing that it is located outside the 10-kilometre radius of an infected zone.
“Up until now, the areas which have been declared as rabies-infected zones are in Kuching (7), Sibu (2), Miri (6), Sarikei (5), Kapit (1), Bintulu (4), Samarahan (4), Betong (3), Serian (22), Mukah (6), Limbang (1) and Sri Aman (6),” it added.
Investigations found that the victim was bitten by her pet dog on Feb 2 before her case was reported to DVSS as she was seeking treatment.
Prior to Feb 5 when the dog was confirmed to be infected with rabies, the dog was running free and not vaccinated though it developed some erratic behaviours that are symptoms of the disease.
The dog was euthanised on the same day its infection was affirmed while the owner was treated at the Sri Aman Hospital.
Adding on, Uggah reminded all dog owners to make sure that their pets are injected with anti-rabies vaccines every year.
“Failure to do so is an offence against Section 40 of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.
“Offenders are subjected to fines not exceeding RM2,500 and dogs seized without proof of anti-rabies vaccination can be captured and put down,” said DVSS in a press statement today.
The department also urged the public at rabies-infected areas not to let their dogs free or bring them out of their areas without written approvals from the State Veterinary Authority.
Those who are found violating Section 37 of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 are subjected to fines not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not more than three months or both.—DayakDaily