“Let’s pool our efforts, resources to eradicate rabies”

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

KUCHING, July 14: Save Our Strays Kuching Association (SOS) is requesting the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) to give information to the association so that it could monitor and improve its Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Release (TNVR) programme.

In a statement yesterday, SOS said it was concerned with a joint statement by DVS and the Public Health Team issued on July 12 that several TNVR PVC-collared dogs had tested positive for rabies.

SOS had visited DVS office on June 27 and met with a DVS officer. He informed the association that the department did not receive any TNVR PVC-collared dogs caught by MPP the day before at Mile 10, Jalan Penrissen.

“As an NGO, we are equally concerned about the safety and health of the community and animals. We strongly request DVS and MPP to provide us the following information so that we can monitor and improve our TNVR programme,” said SOS.

The association said the information it would need from DVS and MPP would be the dates the TNVR PVC-collared dogs were captured, the locations where these dogs were captured, how many TNVR PVC-collared dogs were captured and tested in total, and how many TNVR PVC-collared dogs tested positive for rabies.

“We worked closely with community feeders to carry out the TNVR programmes for the strays. Besides feeding them, these community feeders will also monitor their health closely and will inform SOS should the dogs fall sick or injured.

“Community feeders are well aware of the dogs’ health and temperament; hence, any changes in their behaviour will be detected immediately by the respective feeders,” SOS claimed.

Meanwhile, SOS said for the second year running, it had started carrying out rabies booster jabs for TNVR dogs to vaccinate them against rabies.

It said since the outbreak of rabies from July last year, the association had sought and offered to collaborate with the authorities to eliminate rabies.

SOS added that the availability of information from DVS would greatly assist it in its task to vaccinate the strays against rabies.

SOS stressed that the fight against rabies was a battle involving the commitment and support of policymakers and the communities. Thus, it called for an effective collaboration so that a measurable and successful outcome could be achieved.

“We are all working towards the same solution — eradication of rabies. Why not pool our efforts and resources together towards this common enemy?

“We look forward to forging a partnership and collaboration with the authorities, SSPCA (Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and foreign experts to combat rabies,” the statement concluded. — DayakDaily